Researching at the Passaic County Historical Society
In an effort to bring renewed attention and interest to our collection and to the study of Passaic County history, the Passaic County Historical Society welcomes research requests.
Please call or email before visiting so that we can better assist you. Special appointments may be available pending staff availability. The Archive may be closed in observation of holidays, inclement weather or during special events; please call ahead to confirm. Food, beverages, overcoats and bags are not permitted in the Archive. On-site lockers are available to secure belongings. Notebook, pencils, and laptop/notebook computers are permitted.
Research requests and contracts guarantee staff time but do not guarantee answers. The staff will make every effort to discuss projects and the potential for their success, but cannot predict whether the information sought will be found in our Archive.
Our research facilities include:
Library and Archives
The Society has a research library of over 5,000 books and other materials, focusing primarily on Passaic County and northern New Jersey history.
The research collection includes extensive records on local genealogy, including over 100,000 Passaic County family group sheets, compiled family files, history books, and church, cemetery, and bible records.
There are three options for research at the Passaic County Historical Society:
Option One: Research in Person
Visiting the Historical Society Archive and doing your own research. Access is free to PCHS members. A fee of $5 per person, which includes access to the museum, is charged to non-members, You may call ahead and let us know what materials or titles interest you. If you do not have specific information, please let us know what you are researching so we can prepare appropriate material for your visit.
Option Two: Research by Mail
If you are unable to visit in person, research requests can be performed by PCHS staff and experienced volunteers, and are billed according to the following rates:
- Standard research fee for the first hour: $25, includes up to 10 pages of photocopies
- Every hour thereafter: $10 for PCHS members, $25 for non-members
- Postage fees will be added accordingly
Please make all requests in writing using the Research Request Form. Include a check or money order (payable to the Passaic County Historical Society) for all applicable fees. Credit cards are also accepted. (Credit card payments can be processed over the phone at 973-247-0085. Do not send credit card information in postal mail or email.) Please send your written request, including all pertinent information as described below, with your payment to:
Passaic County Historical Society
3 Valley Road
Paterson, NJ 07503
Research results will be sent four to six weeks from receipt of payment. You will receive your information only after the research fees have been paid in full. We cannot guarantee our investigation will produce any results, but we will make every effort to aid you. Included in our response will be a list of the sources consulted in the course of our research. In order to expedite your request and to prevent repetition, please complete the Research Request Form and include the initial payment covering the first hour’s research (you will be informed if additional funds are required).
Inquiries should provide as much detail as possible with regard to names, dates, and places and should state what resources have already been searched. The more information provided, the better the chances for a successful search. Inquiries that include requests such as “Please send me everything you have on…” will not be answered. We regret that we cannot conduct searches in other local repositories.
Option Three: Simple Research Requests by Email
A simple research request by email, requiring no more than 15 minutes, will be accepted at the discretion of the Library and Archives staff at no cost (donations are welcome). Please note that, while the staff is happy to assist with specific requests, we cannot dedicate unlimited hours to individual requests at no charge. Should your email request meet the requirements, every effort will be made to answer it within two weeks. If your research request requires more than 15 minutes, you may choose to conduct your research using one of the processes listed above. Email your simple research requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.