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Our Research Collections

The GSBC’s collection augments the Ridgewood Public Library's own impressive collection of local history and genealogy books, maps, pamphlets, images, and ephemera in the Bolger Heritage Center for Local History and Genealogy—and many of these materials are found nowhere else. The Bolger also offers guides for conducting genealogy research in other parts of the world; copies of scholarly journals for New Jersey, New York, and New England; and magazines and newsletters.

Donations of genealogical books and newsletters, original historical ephemera and photographs, yearbooks, directories, or other materials related to Bergen County and its families to the GSBC library are always welcome.


GSBC Member-Contributed “Family Files”

Family files are notes and information researched, organized, and contributed by GSBC Members over the decades. These files are housed in the locked file cabinets at the Ridgewood Public Library across from the Reference Desk.

Files generally include Family Group Records and Family Trees and sometimes related source material, photos, copies of letters and journals, research notes, and related family ephemera (copies of wedding invitations, newspaper clippings, postcards, etc.).

All Members are encouraged to submit files so that the GSBC may build a unique collection of resources and preserve the research of our Members for future generations.

The available information int he Family Files have been transcribed into a searchable computer database. Files before 1930 are posted on this website, with other materials accessible in-person only at the Bolger Heritage Center.

If you would like to provide information to be added to this collection, we suggest you send it in electronic format as a GEDCOM file and/or as digital documents so that it may be more easily integrated into the digitized collections. All computer genealogical program, i.e., Family Tree Maker, Legacy, The Master Genealogist, are capable of exporting a GEDCOM file. These files may be submitted on a CD-Rom or via e-mail.

To learn more how to submit your information or donate research notes and materials, please contact us.


GSBC Library Catalog

The GSBC’s collection of genealogies, books, periodicals, newsletters, journals, and CD-ROMs focuses on Bergen County and its surrounding areas.

Online Catalog Search / BCCLS
Most, but not all, of the GSBC's books are integrated into the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BCCLS) Online Catalog. You can search the catalog by keyword (default), title, author, or subject or limit your searches to holding at the RPL.

In-Library Catalog Search / PastPerfect
We maintain a separate database, in PastPerfect, which is only available on-site at the Bolger Heritage Center. GSBC's Collections indexed in PastPerfect includes:

  • Older Books, Local Histories and Pamphlets — Some lesser titles in the GSBC collection (i.e. privately printed books, pamphlets) were judged to be unsuitable for inclusion in the wider BCCLS. These are catalogued in Past Perfect.
  • Postcards and Pictures — Pictures of local landmarks, houses etc. have been catalogued in Past Perfect. A scan of the picture is attached and can be retrieved through the program.
  • Maps in GSBC Collection — These maps are catalogued by location.
  • Index to Family Genealogies — The twenty to twenty-five most common names across all the Family Genealogies in the GSBC collection have been entered in Past Perfect. This is tailored to the GSBC collection and allows researchers to find related names in other genealogies.
  • Index to Portraits in Local History Books — Many Local Histories contain a number of portraits. Portraits in the GSBC collection have been indexed by name.
  • Index to 1912-1913 Bromley Maps —All names on the 1912-1913 Bromley Maps of Bergen County have been entered. (This index is also available on this website.)