Museum History


The Paterson Museum was organized in 1925, by the Board of Trustees of the Paterson Free Public Library.  The Museum began its operations in the assembly room of the Danforth Memorial Library with a display of natural history objects that had been donated to the library by local residents.  


In 1927, the growing collection was moved to the adjacent carriage house of former Mayor Nathan Barnert, and within a few years, the mineral collection was one of the largest in state. As the Museum’s collections grew in size and scope, additional space was needed.  


The Museum was relocated to the restored Erecting Shop of the Rogers Locomotive and Machine in 1982, giving visitors the opportunity of viewing a variety of artifacts and exhibits that help tell the industrial history of Paterson. The Museum’s new location, in close proximity to the nationally famous Great Falls of the Passaic, provides a unique backdrop for our exhibits.


The Paterson Museum is a City institution that collects, preserves and exhibits artifacts and cultural material highlighting the history of Paterson, New Jersey, in both permanent and temporary exhibits.