List of Carnegie libraries in New Jersey

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The following list of Carnegie libraries in New Jersey provides information on United States Carnegie libraries in New Jersey, where 36 libraries were built from grants totaling $1,066,553 awarded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 1900 to 1917. There are 17 municipal libraries with Carnegie buildings still in operation as public libraries (*).[1][2][3] Two have become academic libraries.


  Building still operating as a library
  Building standing, but now serving another purpose
  Building no longer standing
  Building listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  Building contributes to a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places

Carnegie libraries[edit]

Library Municipality Image Date
Location Status
1 Atlantic City Atlantic City Jan 22, 1903 $71,075 35 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Formerly part of Stockton University, now owned by Atlantic City
2 Avon Avon-by-the-Sea May 15, 1916 $5,000 *Avon Public Library[1]
3 Bayonne Bayonne Apr 13, 1903 $83,000 697 Avenue C Bayonne Public Library
4 Belleville Belleville Apr 28, 1909 $20,000
5 Belmar Belmar Jan 14, 1914 $13,000
6 Caldwell Caldwell Jan 8, 1908 $10,000 *Caldwell Public Library[6][7]
7 Camden Main Camden Jan 2, 1903 $120,000 616 Broadway Closed in 1986
8 Camden Cooper Camden Jan 2, 1903 Now part of Rutgers–Camden
9 Camden East Camden Camden Jan 2, 1903 Razed[8]
10 Collingswood Collingswood Jan 5, 1916 $15,000 Razed[8]
11 Cranford Cranford Jan 20, 1908 $10,000 Razed[8] 1962[9]
12 East Orange Main East Orange Jan 18, 1900 $116,000 291 Main Street Now East Orange Municipal Court
13 East Orange Elmwood East Orange Jan 18, 1900
14 East Orange Franklin East Orange Jan 18, 1900
15 Edgewater Edgewater Mar 16, 1915 $15,000 49 Hudson Ave.
16 Elizabeth Main Elizabeth Feb 3, 1910 $130,810
17 Elizabeth Liberty Square Elizabeth Feb 3, 1910 240 Elizabeth Ave. Now a senior citizen center
18 Englewood Englewood Jul 9, 1913 $25,000 Office building[8]
19 Freehold Freehold Mar 27, 1903 $11,000 28+12 East Main Street Independent municipal library. Undergoing renovation (ADA improvements, new interior spaces, mechanicals, roof, etc.) in 2023.
20 Kearny Kearny Jan 16, 1906 $27,600 318 Kearny Ave.
21 Lakewood Lakewood Feb 3, 1917 $12,500
22 Little Falls Little Falls Apr 3, 1917 $10,000 Razed[8]
23 Long Branch Long Branch Feb 3, 1917 $30,000 *Long Branch Free Public Library[10]
24 Montclair Bellevue Montclair Mar 8, 1901 $60,000 185 Bellevue Ave. Opened December 26, 1914[11]

Francis Augustus Nelson, Architect

25 Montclair Montclair Montclair Mar 8, 1901 73 Church St. Building used as Unitarian Church[12]
26 New Brunswick New Brunswick Mar 14, 1902 $52,500 *New Brunswick Free Public Library[13]
27 Nutley Nutley Feb 13, 1913 $20,000 *Nutley Public Library[14]
28 Orange Orange Apr 19, 1915 $1,500 348 Main St. The grant was for the purchase of a new library branch.[15]
29 Perth Amboy Perth Amboy Mar 8, 1901 $50,450
30 Plainfield Plainfield Feb 7, 1911 $50,000 Razed[8]
31 Summit Summit Feb 1, 1909 $21,000 Razed[8] Replaced by newer Summit Public Library in 1964[16]
32 Union Union Hill Feb 5, 1904 $25,000 *Union City Public Library[17]
Union City
33 Verona Verona Mar 31, 1916 $11,000 *Verona Public Library[18][19]
34 Vineland Vineland Feb 2, 1903 $12,000 Senior center[8][20]
35 West Hoboken West Hoboken Feb 4, 1902 $25,000 420 15th St. William Musto Cultural Center[21][22]
Union City
36 Westfield Westfield Dec 30, 1904 $15,000 266 E. Broad St. Library relocated 1954,[23][24] now a business complex


A few of the first public libraries created in New Jersey date back to the mid-eighteenth century, more than twenty of which were established and operational by 1800. When the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) was founded in 1890, upwards of fifty-seven public libraries were established and operating statewide. In 1900, New Jersey state legislature created the Public Library Commission (PLC) as a method to provide support for public libraries.[25] Around this same time, Andrew Carnegie was in the process of assisting communities all across the United States in building, staffing, and providing support for public libraries. During his mission, Andrew Carnegie donated millions of dollars to the construction and operation of thousands of libraries for "the improvement of mankind."[26]

Due in part to his contributions, New Jersey acquired two hundred and three new libraries in those twenty years, bringing the total number of operational public libraries in New Jersey from one hundred and two in 1901 to three hundred and twenty-five in 1920.[25] The state of New Jersey was allocated $1,066,935 across twenty nine communities, which ranked New Jersey as the number eleven state in terms of the number of communities assisted by Andrew Carnegie's donations. The communities that were assisted ranged from large cities to small towns and contained a diverse selection on economic backgrounds. In these twenty-nine communities, there were twenty-nine main libraries built as well as an additional six branch libraries. At this time, New Jersey as was the sixteenth most populated state and only received fourteen percent of the total granted donated by Andrew Carnegie.[25]


  1. ^ a b "Avon Public Library". Retrieved 2011-10-03. The Avon Public Library is one of only four Carnegie buildings in Monmouth County, and only one of only seventeen in the State of New Jersey.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b At various times, Bobinski and Jones disagree on these numbers. In these cases, Jones' numbers have been used due to both a more recent publication date and a more detailed gazetteer of branch libraries, which are often where the discrepancies occur.
  5. ^ Grants for multiple libraries (Camden, East Orange, Elizabeth, and Montclair) are listed only by their total amount, not broken down for each branch.
  6. ^ Caldwell Public Library
  7. ^ "Caldwell Public Library – Preservation New Jersey".
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "Carnegie libraries by state" (PDF). American Volksporting Association. 1996. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  9. ^ Figlar, John (April 23, 2010), "Union County Glimpse Of History 4/25/10", The Star-Ledger, retrieved 2011-10-07, The library in Cranford was built in the Doric style. In 1955, a survey by the State Bureau of Public and School Library Services concluded that Cranford needed a new, larger library building. The Miln Street building was razed in 1962, a year after this photo was taken, and the site is now a parking lot. The new public library building is located at 224 Walnut Ave. On April 18, the Cranford Public Library system celebrated its 100th year of service to the community.
  10. ^ "History of the Long Branch Library" (PDF). Libraries of Miidlesex Automation Consortium. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
  11. ^ "A brief history of the Montlair Public Library". Montclair Public Library. 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 1914 The Bellevue Avenue Branch Library opened on December 26th of this year. The original design of the building remains intact today.
  12. ^ "A brief History of the Montlair Public Library". Montclair Public Library. 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 1904 After 35 years and six different locations, the Montclair Public Library had its first purpose-built library building on the former site of the Munn Tavern. The library at 73 Church Street served as the Main Library for 50 years. This building is now part of the Unitarian Church, located at the intersection of Valley Road and Church Street.
  13. ^ "Your Library". New Brunswick Free Public Library.
  14. ^ "Library History". Nutley Public Library. 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
  15. ^ Bobinski does not list this library.
  16. ^ "History of Summit -- Union County, New Jersey". 2009-10-17. Retrieved 2009-10-17.
  17. ^ Union City Public Library
  18. ^ "Verona Landmarks Preservation Commission". Township of Verona, New Jersey. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  19. ^ "Verona Public Library". Verona Public Library. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  20. ^ Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society (2011), Vineland, Arcadia Publishing, p. 92, ISBN 978-0-7385-7395-3
  21. ^ Mestanza, Jean-Pierre (June 11, 2011), "William V. Musto Cultural Center in Union City officially opens", The Jersey Journal, retrieved 2011-10-04
  22. ^ Sanabria, Santo (June 22, 2011), "New UC center holds museums, senior center But some controversy as it honors convicted", The Hudson Reporter, retrieved 2011-10-04
  23. ^ "History of the Westfield Memorial Library" (PDF). Westfield Memorial Library. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  24. ^ Salomon, Jane (2010), Westfield, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7385-7368-7
  25. ^ a b c Dubicki, Eleonora (2017-07-17). "Carnegie Libraries in New Jersey: 1900-1923". New Jersey Studies. 3 (2): 118–152. doi:10.14713/njs.v3i2.85. ISSN 2374-0647.
  26. ^ Bobinski, George S. (1968). "Carnegie Libraries: their history and impact on american public library development". ALA Bulletin. 62 (11): 1361–1367. ISSN 0364-4006. JSTOR 25698025.


  • Anderson, Florence (1963). Carnegie Corporation Library Program 1911–1961. New York: Carnegie Corporation. OCLC 1282382.
  • Bobinski, George S. (1969). Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development. Chicago: American Library Association. ISBN 0-8389-0022-4.
  • Jones, Theodore (1997). Carnegie Libraries Across America. New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-14422-3.
  • Miller, Durand R. (1943). Carnegie Grants for Library Buildings, 1890–1917. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York. OCLC 2603611.

Note: The above references, while all authoritative, are not entirely mutually consistent. Some details of this list may have been drawn from one of the references without support from the others. Reader discretion is advised.

External links[edit]