Local History Collection

COVID-19 Community Stories Project

Fairfield Residents: The Fairfield Library and the Fairfield Historical Society want to hear from you.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your life? How has your daily life been interrupted?

In the future, when residents look back in time, how can we tell them and show them what it was like to social distance, to work from home, to homeschool, etc.? 

Send stories, pictures, artwork, even recordings to ffpl@ffpl.org. Please remember anything you send will be shared with the public.

(Some examples would be pictures of empty parks with entrances blocked. Pictures of CLOSED signs on doors of businesses or pictures of families quarantining together spending quality time with each other, stories of at home movie nights, etc.)

The Fairfield Library will compile and archive all material to post on our Local History page of the website.


The Fairfield Free Public Library has a small repository of local history material, curated by the Director of the Fairfield Free Public Library.

The local history collection is comprised of historical material related to:
– Official Township

– Fairfield Schools
– Business and Commerce
– Population (Includes families, houses, and farms)
– Houses of worship and cemeteries
– Fairfield organizations and clubs
– Fairfield Free Public Library
– Geology (Floods/Weather) and Geography (Maps)
– Military

Local Newspapers
The collection also includes microfilm of The Caldwell News 1892 to 1897, The Caldwell Progress/The Progress from 1897 to 2018. Physical copies of the The Progress are available from 2017 – present. 

We also have The Chronicle on microfilm from 1971 – 1978. In addition, we have physical copies of: July 5, 1972, January 29, 1975, April 11, 1984, April 18, 1984

Available Finding Aids (Updated 11/30/2019)
1. Inventory to Schools of Township of Fairfield (formerly Caldwell Township until 1963) and Surrounding Schools, 1800s – present

2. Inventory to Business and Commerce in the Township of Fairfield (formerly Caldwell Township until 1963) and Surrounding Area Businesses, 1800s – present

3. Inventory to Places of Worship and Cemeteries of Township of Fairfield (formerly Caldwell Township until 1963) and Surrounding Area, 1700s – present

4. Inventory to Families, Farms, and Houses in the Township of Fairfield (formerly Caldwell Township until 1963) and Surrounding Area Families, 1800s – present

5. Inventory to the Municipality of Fairfield (formerly Caldwell Township until 1963) and Surrounding Area Families, 1800s – present  

Mrs. Morris E. Collerd, born Adelia Melissa Van Ness, is the author of the The Chronicle newspaper column “This WAS Fairfield.” A compilation of her articles can be found in our collection.

Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Articles:
(Fairfield Historical Society member and grandson of history columnist Adelia Van Ness Collerd) 

Introduction and Table of Contents
Fairfield, New Jersey Bibliography
Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Articles 3-10
Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Articles 11-13
Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Articles 14-16
Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Article 17
Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Article 18 (not available)
Paul Pollio’s “This WAS Fairfield” Articles 19-25

Material in this collection is available for viewing and use in the library only. Please call 973-227-3575 to make an appointment to view any material in the local history repository.

Fairfield Historical Society
Meets once a month Thursday at 6:30pm
2020 Dates: January 9, February 6, March 5, April 2, May 7, June 4, July 9, August 6, September 3, October 1, November 5, December 3

The Fairfield Historical Society was established in 2018 as a group of individuals interested in preserving Fairfield’s past. All community members are welcome to join.

Mission Statement
The Fairfield Historical Society aims to promote and raise public awareness of Fairfield’s history through compiling, preserving, interpreting, sharing, and making accessible historical material connected to the Township of Fairfield (Essex County, New Jersey).

Objectives
– Collect, preserve, and develop the Fairfield Free Public Library’s holdings in their local history collection

– Engage all ages of the public in the Township of Fairfield’s history through educational programming, exhibitions, online access, township tours, and community outreach
– Collaborate with historical, cultural, and other community organizations, institutions, and individuals

Check it out! We’ve been in the news:
“Fairfield Residents Develop Fairfield Historical Society” TAPinto West Essex (April 18, 2018)
https://www.tapinto.net/articles/fairfield-residents-develop-fairfield-historical

“Historical Society Formed in Fairfield” The Progress (May 8, 2018)
http://www.newjerseyhills.com/the_progress/news/historical-society-formed-in-fairfield/article_48c1ed18-bb27-59ce-b8a6-ad4d4d3d1f0b.html

“Fairfield Historical Society Continues to Compile and Preserve In-Depth Materials” TAPinto West Essex (February 13, 2019)
https://www.tapinto.net/towns/west-essex/sections/arts-and-entertainment/articles/fairfield-historical-society-continues-to-compile-and-preserve-in-depth-materials