The mission of the Mahwah Museum Archives and Library is to support the Museum’s mission of documenting and sharing the history of the town and region by collecting, preserving, and making available for use, records pertaining to the region now known as Mahwah, New Jersey, Bergen County, surrounding regions in New Jersey and New York, and to the residents, businesses and organizations of that town.
While we would love to collect everything, the realities of limited space mean that we need to focus our collection on objects that help us tell a broad and inclusive history of the area. If we cannot accept an object or collection due to size we will work with you to try to identify another archive that can house it.
Potential donations will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Is it relevant to Mahwah history, the history of the region, or the history of New Jersey?
- Is the material authentic?
- Is the subject suitable for a local history collection?
- Is the material unique or were there many of them produced?
- Is the material a duplicate of something we already have?
- Is the material in good physical shape?
- Will it be easy for our staff and patrons to use?
- Are the materials in a format that we can access?
- How much will it cost for us to preserve, store, and process the materials?
- Will we need to increase security to store or display the materials?
- Are there any use restrictions put on the materials?
The archive collects material pertaining to Mahwah (including Hohokus Township before 1944) that document its:
- Clubs and Community Organizations
- Parks and Land Resources
The Archive collects material that are generally relevant to the larger region, but will not collect materials that document other towns if there is a library or historical society that focuses on that region.
We are particularly interested in gathering materials that tell the different experiences in different neighborhoods of town and particular groups whose history has not been well documented in newspapers or in our current collection (West Mahwah, Stag Hill, Masonicus and Fardale).
Formats and condition
The Archive accepts materials in most formats, including manuscripts, paper records, correspondence, reports, minutes, financial records, personnel records, plans, brochures, flyers, photographs, pictures, films, audio tapes, maps, drawings, post cards, newspaper clippings, oral histories, and genealogical records.
Books and artifacts will be separated to the Museum’s Library and Collection.
The Archive accepts digitized copies of materials as long as we have the hardware or software needed to access the files. We may decline materials that will require conversion depending on the cost of this task. Our recommendation would be for the donor to print or convert the files to a format that can be used before donation.
The Archive will decline materials that are damaged by mold, mildew, water, insects, smoke or dirt as these may migrate to other portions of the collection.
The Archive may also decline to accept materials which it cannot properly store, display, or care for.
The Library collects published works regarding Mahwah history, the history of the region, its peoples, and on topics relating to its archival materials, including, but not limited to:
- Histories of New Jersey and New York State
- Histories of Bergen County and Northwestern Bergen Country towns
- Maps of the region
- Railroads in Northern New Jersey
- Ford Motor Company
- American Brake Shoe and Foundry/ABEX
- Ramapo College of New Jersey
- Les Paul
- Joyce Kilmer
- Ramapough Mountain Tribe
- NIKE Base
- Current Historical Preservation practice
- Current Museum Exhibition practice
The Library may refuse to accept, or designate for sale or disposal, books that duplicate our existing holdings. The Library may remove books from its collection if it is determined that they no longer meet its mission or have become dated.
The Library will refuse books that are in poor condition, especially if they are obtainable elsewhere. Books damaged by mold, mildew, pests, or water will not be accepted due to the risk to the rest of the Library’s collection.
The Archive’s goal is to make its holdings available to Museum staff and the public. Materials that have restricted use will only be accepted if there are reasonable limits placed on use; either a date after which the materials can be accessed, or an understanding that scholars can use materials if they do not include names.
Once materials are donated to the Archive, they may be used in physical exhibits, scanned and placed on the Museum’s website or digital archive, moved to another part of the Museum’s collection, sold, or deaccessioned if they no longer meet the Museum’s mission.
Last updated April 2016