I love the Hunterdon County Historical Society, so much so that I volunteered at the Research Library for several years. While working on one of my
obsessions historical interests, I did a deep dive into the Hunterdon County Historical Society Collection, parts I, II, IV, V, and VI. There isn’t a part III, which I verified with the Society Archivist. This collection is a grouping of old records that someone deemed historically significant and decided to put them in a few boxes. The collection was “organized” before the mid-1980s, and has been filmed at least in part by the Latter Day Saints. Following is the link to their catalog entries at FamilySearch; https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/490939?availability=Family%20History%20Library.[i] Very few of the microfilms are digitized.
I have the luxury of being able to visit the Historical Society in person; even so, this collection can be a bit frustrating. To use it, you need to view the detailed inventory. The contents don’t appear to have any specific organization, so you pretty much need to scan through the inventory to find what you might need. Once you locate a folder of interest, you will need to go to another sheet to discover which microfilm houses the folder and what drawer to find the microfilm. One of these days, I’m going to have to index this collection and give it to the Society. I can’t imagine arriving from afar and trying to acquaint myself with this on-site; luckily, the inventory is available at the website to plan ahead of time. Be forewarned; the microfilm machines are old; you may want to ensure the machines are working before a visit. I find it is best to bring a camera and skip printing.
It’s incredible how far the Society has come since I first stepped into the doors in 2010. Back then there were boxes and boxes of unlabeled piles in the librarian’s office, and finding things were difficult. Much credit should go to the employees of the Society, and the many volunteers. The Library is well organized and cataloged thanks to Librarian Pamela Robinson, and the volunteers. Don Cornelius, Manuscript Curator, has not only ensured that the existing holdings are well conserved, but that a new acquisition is preserved correctly. He leads a small group of volunteers at the archive. The Society is very dependent on volunteers, unsung heroes of many such places.
The Research Library and Archives are a treasure. The well preserved Doric House is a historic gem. The Hunterdon County Historical Society has so much to offer.