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Carnegie Libraries of New Jersey

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
Atlantic City, NJ Carnegie library

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.

Atlantic City, NJ Carnegie library

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.

Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ Carnegie library
Bayonne, NJ Carnegie library

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.

Belleville, NJ Carnegie library

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 bears 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.

Belmar, NJ Carnegie library

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

The postcard was mailed in 1926.


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.

Camden, NJ Carnegie Library

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

Camden, NJ Carnegie Library

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.

Cooper Park Library, Camden, NJ

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. 

Cranford, NJ Carnegie library

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.

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