Carnegie Libraries of New Jersey

1935 Curt Teich linen finish, multiview card features the three 'Orange' libraries. What an optimistic, celebratory postcard!

Today, many of New Jersey's libraries are in acute financial trouble. Several are abandoned.

So, let's look back to the glory days!

Atlantic City

Postmark of 1922 obviously much more recent than the post card (L) by Sithens Postcard Company, Atlantic City, N.J.
(R) Unknown publisher; never mailed.

The Library's original building was finished in 1905 and in use until 1985. Today's facility lies at the corner of Tennessee and Atlantic.
The Carnegie building was abandoned, but has regained its purpose as the Carnegie Library Center of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.


1916 Carnegie grant; Still in use.


Harry F. May card, mailed in 1923.


1903 Carnegie grant; 1913 expansion. In 1959, ravaged by fire, but rebuilt. (Can you imagine a newly constructed library being salvagable after a major fire?) Still in use today, and now known as The Free Public Library and Cultural Center of Bayonne.


Postcard mailed in 1912.


1909 grant. Still in use, but lost its shot at historical preservation by a, well, historically awkward renovation.

This is a Silvercraft Dexter Press postcard, seen more often in the Eastern US. Surprisingly, it has a brief history:

The original Library was started Jan. 4, 1902, in a store. The present building a gift of Andrew Carnegie, was erected in 1910.


This 1914 Carnegie building is still in use. It's one with Free To All above the entrance.

The postcard was mailed in 1926.


(L) Illustrated Postal Card Co. card, printed in Germany.
(R) From unknown manufacturer.


Address: 616 Line Street. (one source states 616 Broadway) Believed to have been moved from this building in 1986. In 2004, restoration was supposed to begin on the abandoned remains.

1903 saw three Carnegie grants. That's the highlight of this city's library history. Camden's impoverished library (CFPL) was merged with Camden County in 2010.

Cooper Park Library

I believe that several sources have this, the pre-1911 building, confused with the Cooper Branch Library, which is still standing. Yes, the relative age of the two cards is a factor. DVRBS also has this building on three postcards from 1910, 1912, and 1916 respectively: dates more appropriate to a Carnegie funded library than the neo-Classical donation at Johnson Park.


Information taken from Cranford Public Library's excellent history page. It described this curious structure as resembling a Southern mansion (antebellum), but from its resemblance to Antigo, Wisconsin's Carnegie building. I would call it Georgian Revival. 

In 1908, application was made for a Carnegie grant. The resultant library was built in 1910. In a rare case of underestimating need, it required expansion by 1924, and was declared inadequate by 1955. It was demolished and replaced by 1962. It, in turn needed expansion by 2000.

The Mayrose Co. printed this card. The ghostly windows over the entry are not a printer's artifact, but are seen in other images of the building.

East Orange

Two 1900 Carnegie grants, which might have been needed for this huge building. It's a magnificent fan-stack library; exceptionally broad and deep, maximizing its corner lot.



According to Wikipedia (sorry), it's now the East Orange Municipal Court. Much better than leaving it to rot.

Franklin Branch (Dodd St.)

According to the Library's history, this was funded by a 1907 (by calculation from context) grant. It was built in 1909, and is still being used as a branch library.


The E.G. Temme Card was mailed in 1910.


Mayrose 'Local View' brand card. Rather a nifty nitty gritty winter scene.

Now you see me.

Now you don't.

Three 1900 Carnegie grants. Three Carnegie libraries. All three are standing, but only this location contains an active public library.

Liberty Square Branch Library

Built in 1912 from a design by architect C. Godfrey Poggi, according to Elizabeth, New Jersey Then And Now: Second Edition 2015.

The postcard was by Line & Co., and mailed in 1913.


Built in 1903: still in use, despite its remarkably small size.

(L) Litho-chrome brand card, never mailed. 
(R) Freehold Photo Supply card, ironically artistic in its rendering. Originally printed as a New York card. The N.Y. was struck out, and N.J. added, in a gothic sort of font. Mailed in 1906.

Little Falls

This was another, 1917 Carnegie building that no one thought highly about. It has been demolished.

The postcard was printed by the Collotype Company. Its images are distinguished by clarity, and by being photographed before spring's releafing.

Long Branch

1945 Curt Teich linen-finish postcard with the Carnegie library shown on the bottom, and the Long Branch City Hall shown on top.


The 1917 Carnegie library is still in use. It received the last Carnegie grant in New Jersey.


Its first location was in a tavern, which was torn down to yield the corner lot on which this building was built in 1904. That $40,000 1902 Carnegie grant was put to exceptionally good use here, although the awning looks like somebody's fitted sheet.
The library building, replaced in 1954, is now a Unitarian Church, but the Carnegie branch is still in use!

According to an ad in the 1901 Public Libraries, this used Library Bureau patented steel stacks, along with Orange's Free Public Library. Dare we hope for the fan-stack arrangement?

The only clue to the card's identity is the number P-26154, with a B in a circle. It was never mailed, but has an evenly divided back.

New Brunswick

1902 grant. Built in 1903; expanded in 1990, and still in use!


This is another unattributable card, but its back is essentially identical to that of the Montclair card above.

Perth Amboy

First (01 March 1901) Carnegie grant received by a New Jersey Library.
The library's history is on the city's 
web site, which states that the library's speedy growth needed a second (1914) grant. At one time, a children's library was built, but after a 1977 fire, it was reincorporated into the Carnegie building.

The postcard was published by the New Jersey Post Card Company.


1909 grant. Opened in 1911. Demolished and replaced in 1964.What a shame that some type of reuse wasn't made.

It bore a resemblance to the Clyde, Ohio Carnegie building.


F.E. Temme card, mailed in the summer of 1909. Unless the illustration is the world's most accurate architectural drawing, it appears that there was a nearly two year gap between its completion and its opening.


Curt Teich card, never mailed, dating from 1916. The reverse states that at this point, the Library comprised 8,000 volumes. It was built in 1904, and another statistic given is the citizen contribution of land and $2,500.


1903 Carnegie grant of $12,000. Still standing according to Wikipedia, in use as a senior center, but I have no confirmation.

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