Born and raised in New Jersey he has several books in print about the state's history, with an emphasis on the Jersey Shore. He is an alumnus of William Paterson University and Harvard University. In 2006, his book Hobey Baker, American Legend was honored by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. A resident of Cape May, New Jersey, he served a full term as a member of the Cape May City Historic Preservation Commission as part of an effort to assist in preserving the city's landmark status
In April 2011 he planned a series of short segments for PBS-NJTV which resulted in six mini episodes of a show entitled Tales of the Jersey Shore. NJTV/PBS began to broadcast 12 half-hour shows of "Tales of the Jersey Shore" in the summer of 2012. In 2012-2013, Salvini along with producer Greg Russo and cameraman Joe Valenti wrote and hosted a series of half-hour and one-hour episodes that were broadcast on NJTV-PBS. They included shows on the Morro Castle; NJ's Titanic, Hurricane Sandy and the United States Life-Saving Service.
In 2018 Emil began his Podcast "Tales of the New Jersey Shore" with an audience of thousands of listeners. Topics range from boardwalks, shipwrecks, hurricanes, amusements and the history of each Jersey Shore resort.
- Jersey Shore: Vintage Images of Bygone Days (2008)
- Hobey Baker, American Legend (2005)
- Boardwalk Memories: Tales of the Jersey Shore (2005)
- The Summer City by the Sea: Cape May, New Jersey--An Illustrated History (2004)
- Contillo, Christine (May 28, 2006). "BY THE WAY; Miles of Boardwalk, and No Splinters". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Salvini, Emil R. (2005). Hobey Baker, American Legend. The Hobey Baker Foundation. ISBN 978-0976345305.
- Salvini, Emil R (March 6, 2012). "The Great Atlantic Storm of 1962". Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- Staff. "The Lure of the Boards", Asbury Park Press, July 9, 2006. Accessed November 22, 2016. "'Every boardwalk has its own personality,' said Emil Salvini, of Cape May, author of Boardwalk Memories."
- "Tales of the Jersey Shore: Garfield Tea House". November 3, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2012.
- "Tales of the jersey shore, episode: Storm Clouds". NJTV Online.
- "Cape May magazine - July 2013". Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- "2015 Legacy Award Honorees". Retrieved May 11, 2015.
- "Award Recipients". Autism Radio. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
- Development, PodBean. "Tales of the New Jersey Shore". Retrieved 2018-07-20.