Somerset County is one of America’s oldest counties with an abundant history that dates back to the 1600s. Starting this September, the Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) will continue to explore community, state, and world history through a series of lectures and discussions.
“The history of Somerset County chronicles a region in flux, influenced by its central location in the state and between New York and Philadelphia,” said Ken Kaufman, SCLSNJ adult services librarian. “Each generation in the community adapted to changing realities, and left their mark.”
Kaufman continued, “The lecture, Learning New Jersey … One Building at a Time presented by Dr. Gabrielle Esperdy teaches us to become attuned to past struggles and triumphs by observing the elements found in our current environment. Joe Grabas, a land title expert, will show how land records provide a glimpse into the hopes and dreams of past generations in Owning New Jersey: From Homestead to Home Depot. Other presentations focus on the do it yourself (DIY) aspects of preserving one’s own documents of community and cultural history, guided by a trained archivist and conservator.”
Patrons are invited to contribute to Somerset County history by participating in the Library’s Digitization Days, in partnership with National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Somerset County residents should bring no more than 5 items to each digitization session, including historic photographs, letters, or documents; sketches, paintings, or other artwork; family heirlooms including recipes; and other artifacts.
“We look forward to seeing our community members at our fall line-up of Common Heritage programs and digitization days,” said Rebecca Sandoval-Sloat, SCLSNJ technical services manager. “To date, we have photographed quilts, coins, and keys, and scanned photographs of family members, floods and historical buildings in the County.”
Explore SCLSNJ’s 2018 Digitization Dates:
September 22, 1-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch
For more: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/595950
October 20, 1-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch
For more: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/595989
November 17, 1-3 p.m. at SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch
For more: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/595992
In addition to community history, Library customers will also have the opportunity to learn from experts about the suffrage movement, ancient Egypt, and more. Explore local history and beyond:
Learning New Jersey … One Building at a Time
September 17, 7-8 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater
Dr. Gabrielle Esperdy, Ph.D., will explore New Jersey’s unique and historically significant landscapes. This program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/somerset/event/523053.
A Virtual Stroll Through the Met’s Egyptian Art
September 22, 2-3 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater
An introduction to the Egyptian galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that will guide you from the banks of the Nile to tombs and temples. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/621201.
Preserving your Family’s Treasures
September 25, 7-8:30 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Mary Jacobs Memorial Library branch, located at 64 Washington Street in Rocky Hill
Learn the best ways to preserve old photos, letters, maps, and other items with Deb Schiff, local history librarian at Chester Library. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/somerset/event/590777.
Somerset Hills Equestrian Pursuits
October 3, 7-8:30 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Peapack & Gladstone Library branch, located at the Municipal Complex on School Street in Peapack
Local Historian W. Barry Thomson will discuss Somerset Hills rich and varied equestrian heritage. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/857713.
A History of the Old Presbyterian Graveyard in Bound Brook
October 3, 7-8:30 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Warren Twp. Library branch, located at 42 Mountain Boulevard in Warren Twp.
Mary Nelson, SCLSNJ librarian, will share the history of the Old Presbyterian Graveyard in Bound Brook and her experience researching it’s history. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/885308.
Owning New Jersey: From Homestead to Home Depot — Land Use in Somerset County
October 16, 7-8:30 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Bridgewater Library branch, located at 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater
Forensic land title expert Joseph A. Grabas will discuss the development of land acquisition, ownership, and development from 1664 to date in Somerset County. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/somerset/event/576992.
Deeds, Not Words, the Suffragette Storm
November 7, 2-3 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Warren Twp. Library branch, located at 42 Mountain Boulevard in Warren Twp.
Anna Nowik Valerio will discuss the suffrage movement. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/912199.
Bound Brook: A Revolutionary History
November 7, 7-8 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Bound Brook Memorial Library branch, located at 402 East High Street in Bound Brook
Author and historian Robert Mayers will discuss the Battle of Bound Brook, the Middlebrook Encampment, and the history of Bound Brook during the Revolutionary War. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/903344.
Preserving the Fabrics of Your Life: Taking Care of Historic Textiles
November 10, 2-3:30 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Manville Library branch, located at 100 South 10th Avenue in Manville
Learn what to look for when examining old fabric pieces and the appropriate ways to preserve these textiles with Susan Jerome, textile conservator from the University of Rhode Island. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/somerset/event/595856.
The Transcontinental Railroad: 150 Years
November 14, 7-8:30 p.m.; SCLSNJ’s Peapack & Gladstone Library branch, located at the Municipal Complex on School Street in Peapack
Railroad Historian and Peapack & Gladstone Borough Councilman Mark Corigliano will take attendees to the 1860s and the building of the transcontinental railroad across North America. Register: sclsnj.libnet.info/event/878414.
To learn more about these programs or the Library System’s Common Heritage grant, visit SCLSNJ.org.
The Somerset County Library System of New Jersey Common Heritage initiative has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these Library programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.