The Paterson Museum welcomes researchers interested in the history of the City of Paterson and its citizens.  


The Museum’s collection contains a variety of documentary resources on city history, which includes the papers of submarine inventor John P. Holland, original manuscripts, and a photographic collection consisting of approximately 250,000 negatives and prints.


The Paterson Museum contributes to the Digital Public Library of America. Click on the link to take a look at the resources we have made available on that platform: Click Here to Learn More


Accessing items in the collection for original research is by appointment only. Contact our curator, Heather Garside at (973)321-1260 or to schedule an appointment.




Interested in learning more about Paterson’s history? Below you will find a list of digital resources that will help get you started.

General Timeline of African American History in Paterson, NJ



The Falls of the Passaic by Washington Irving

The poetry of Alfred Gibbs Campbell (1826-1884).


Natural History

The Birds of New Jersey by Charles Shriner, 1896.

The Story of Sandy Hill: a Geological Monograph by J.A. Craig, 1920 

The Geological History of the Passaic Falls by William Nelson, 1892 


General Paterson History

Four Chapters of Paterson History by Charles Shriner, 1919

History of Bergen and Passaic Counties by W. Woodford Clayton, 1882

Historical Sketch of Schools in Paterson, by William Nelson, 1877

Cedar Lawn Cemetery, 1917

History of the City of Paterson and the County of Passaic, New Jersey, by Nelson, William, 1901

Paterson, New Jersey. Its Advantages for Manufacturing and Residence: its Industries, Prominent Men, Banks, Schools, Churches, etc., by Charles Shriner, 1890

Address at the Unveiling of the Statue of Alexander Hamilton in the City of Paterson, New Jersey

by Nicholas Murray Butler, 1907

Records of the Township of Paterson, New Jersey, 1831-1851 : with the laws relating to the township ; extracts from contemporary newspapers, and notes by Nelson, William, 1895

History of the Fire and Police Departments of Paterson, N.J :Their Origin, Progress and Development, 1893.

An Address to the People of New Jersey : by the Abolitionists of the State Favorable to Political Action Against American Slavery by State Convention of Abolitionists, 1841

The Van Houten Manuscripts; a Century of Historical Documents, Assessment Lists, Unrecorded Deeds, Vendues, Inventories, Bonds, Letters, Accounts, Pleadings in Law Suits, and Other Papers Relating to Men and Events, Manners and Customs, in the Olden Times in Paterson and Vicinity, complied by Willian Nelson, 1894

Pictorial Paterson. Embracing Views of Prominent Buildings, Scenes in the Parks, a Glimpse of the Falls and a Bird’s-Eye View of the City, 1903

A Lecture on the City of Paterson, its past, present, and future: delivered by Ph. Dickerson, Esq. before the Paterson Educational Association, January 31, 1856, Ph. Dickerson, 1856

Views of Paterson, 1907.

History of Paterson and Its Environs, Volume 1, by William Nelson and Charles Shriner, 1920

History of Paterson and Its Environs, Volume 2, by William Nelson and Charles Shriner, 1920

History of Paterson and Its Environs, Volume 3, by William Nelson and Charles Shriner, 1920

Historical and Statistical Memoranda Related to Passaic County New Jersey, compiled by William Nelson, 1874.

Early history of libraries in Paterson, by Irene Janes, 1949$b164325&view=1up&seq=3

History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Prominent Men, compiled by W. Woodford Clay, 1882. (Paterson on PDF page 591)


Industrial History

The Story of Wright Aero, Wright Aeronautical Corporation, 1928

First Name in Aviation … a Brief History of the Wright Aeronautical Corporation, Wright Aeronautical Corporation, 1942

Industrial and Commercial Correspondence of Alexander Hamilton, Anticipating his Report on Manufactures edited by Arthur Harrison Cole, 1928

The Founding of Paterson as the Intended Manufacturing Metropolis of the United States by William Nelson, 1887

Report on the Origin and Increase of the Paterson Manufactories and the Intended Diversion of their Waters by the Morris Canal Company by John Langdon Sullivan, 1828

Passaic Steel Company, Paterson, New Jersey, 1903.

Locomotives and locomotive building, being a brief sketch of the growth of the railroad system and of the various improvements in locomotive building in America together with a history of the origin and growth of the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, Paterson, New Jersey, from 1831 to 1886, by Matthias Forney, 1886.

A History of Industrial Paterson, by Levi Trumbull, 1882

The Rogers Locomotive Company, 1897 Catalogue, 1897

The Submarine Torpedo Boat Holland: First Submarine to Become a Part of the United States Navy by Captain Frank T. Cable, 1943 

First National Silk Convention: [exhibition] City Hall, Paterson, N.J., October 12th, to 21st., 1915, 1915

The Memoirs of a Silk Striker: an Exposure of the Principles and Tactics of the I.W.W., 

by John H. Steiger, 1914

Industrial localization and metropolitan growth: The Paterson-Passaic District, by James B. Kenyon, 1960$b89369&view=1up&seq=13

“The Latest Naval Wonders for Destroying Battleships.” The Call, San Francisco, April 24, 1898 California

“The Manufactures of Paterson, N.J” Scientific American, 1859

Part 1

Part 2 

Part 3 

Part 4


Religious History

The Pastor and the Church, or, Rev. John H. Duryea, D.D. by Theodore W. Wells, 1896

The First Presbyterian Church of Paterson, New Jersey, by William Nelson, 1893

History of the Old Dutch Church at Totowa, Paterson 1755-1827, by William Nelson, 1892

A history of the First Presbyterian Church of Paterson, New Jersey by Clarence E. Macartney, 1913          

Directory of churches in New Jersey, Volume XVI, Passaic County, prepared by The New Jersey Historical Records Survey Project, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, 1941.



Paterson and Its Prominent Men, 1915

An Address Delivered June 24, 1812, at the funeral of Sarah Cumming, James Richards, 1812

Personal Names of Indians of New Jersey, Compiled by William Nelson

The Indians of New Jersey: their origin and development, manners and customs, language, religion and government: with notices of some Indian place names by William Nelson, 1894

African American Family Business in Paterson New Jersey, compiled by the American Folklife Center, 1994.

Paterson’s Hot Texas Weiner Tradition, compiled by the American Folklife Center, 1994.

Scorecard for baseball game between Paterson City Club and the Baltimore Black Sox, circa 1920s.

Letter from Alfred Gibbs Campbell to William Lloyd Garrison about the Paterson Antislavery Society, 1854.


Books with References to Paterson

The American Universal Geography Or, A View of the Present State of All the Empires, Kingdoms, States, and Republics in the Known World, and of the United States in Particular. In Two Parts … · Part 1 by Jedidiah Morse, Samuel Webber · 1802 (Paterson on PDF page 514)

The Resources of the United States of America; or, A view of the Agricultural, Commercial, Manufacturing, Financial, Political, Literary, Moral and Religious Capacity and Character of the American People By John Bristed, counsellor at law, 1818  (Paterson on PDF pages 83-84)

An Historical, Topographical, and Statistical View of the United States of America: from the Earliest Period to the Present Time Vol. 2 by the Rev. William Winterbotham and others, 1819

Travels through the United States of America, in the years 1806 & 1807, and 1809, 1810, & 1811; including an account of passages betwixt America & Britain, Ireland, and Canada. With corrections and improvements till 1815. With an appendix, containing a letter from Clements Burleigh, esq. to Irish emigrants removing to America, and hints, by the Shamroc Society, New-York, to emigrants from Europe — by John Melish, 1818 (Paterson on PDF page 123)

The illustrated Hand-Book, a New Guide for Travelers Through the United States of America by John Calvin Smith, 1851 (Paterson on PDF page 88)

Appletons’ New and Complete United States Guide Book for Travellers; Embracing the Northern, Eastern, Southern, and Western States, Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, etc. by W. Williams, 1851

Letter from William Lloyd Garrison to Eliza Garrison about his visit to Paterson, 1869.

Journal of a March a Battle and a Water-Fall By Major James McHenry Secretary to His Excellency General Washington, by Major James McHenry, 1778.



Great leaders and national issues of 1896: containing the lives of the Republican and Democratic candidates for president and vice-president, biographical sketches of the leading men of all parties … together with a full presentation of the live questions of the day, including the tariff, gold and silver, Cuba, Armenia, Venezuela, Monroe doctrine, etc. By Edward S. Ellis, 1896 

Life and distinguished services of Hon. Wm. McKinley and the great issues of 1896, containing also a sketch of the life of Garret A. Hobart By Murat Halstead, 

Vice Presidents of the United States, 1789-1993, by Mark O. Hatfield, 1997. 

Instruction Book for Wright Aviation Engines, by Wright Aeronautical Corporation, 1924. 

1896: The great campaign or political struggles of parties, leaders and issues covering every phase of the vital questions of the day; protection; the gold standard, including platforms of all parties and biographies of the presidential candidates, the whole forming a complete handbook of political information voter’s guide and instructor. By Lawrence F. Prescott, 1896. 

One of the people: life and speeches of William McKinley, citizen, soldier, congressman, governor and presidential candidate. Embracing a complete report of the proceedings of the St. Louis convention. To which is added a brief sketch of Garret A. Hobart, candidate for Vice-President, by Byron Andrews, 1896. 

Memories by Mrs. Garret A. Hobart (Ester Jane “Jennie” Tuttle Hobart), 1930.$b727615&view=1up&seq=7&skin=2021 

Address of Honorable John W. Griggs at the unveiling of the statue of Garret Augustus Hobart by John W. Griggs, 1903.

William Paterson, by Charles Shriner, 1940.