Local History

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Local History Room

Local History Room – dedicated in memory of George and Beatrice Jepson

The library houses a small but growing collection of local history materials. Maps, books, pamphlets, newspapers, and scrapbooks are safely stored in the local history room. So that the most delicate materials may be preserved the library is converting many of the resources to digital format. Check this page for additions.

The library seeks to add original photographs, postcards, school yearbooks, and ephemera that document the history of Hillsdale. Please contact the director to arrange a donation.

The local history room is locked. Patrons seeking the use of the local history collection may do so by contacting the library director or librarian in advance. Users must sign the register. Photocopies may be limited at the discretion of library staff.

Local History Finding Aid (as of 2012)

Reproductions of original materials used in publication, in any media format, must include a credit line to the Hillsdale Free Public Library.


The library owns limited runs of local weekly newspapers. These have been converted to searchable .pdf. Due to copyright protections the entirety of this collection cannot be posted online. The collection is accessible from any of the public computers in the library. Selected examples are linked below.

Hillsdale Herald (December 19, 1929)

  • Hillsdale Herald 1929-1931
  • Hillsdale Herald 1933-1942
  • Hillsdale Local 1956
  • Pascack Valley Community Life 1973 (75th anniversary articles)
  • The Hillsdale News 1979-1983


1876 A.H. Walker Atlas of Bergen County, Reading, PA. : Reading Publishing House,

[1876] p. 110 – Hillsdale. (12.5″ x 16″ / .pdf) This plate shows Hillsdale’s earlier land development. This image is reproduced on p. 73 of the Centennial Journal.

Map of Hillsdale Manor, Bonelli-Adams Co., New York (circa 1890) – undated map showing lots for sale in the “Manor” section of Hillsdale. (22″x15″ encapsulated / .pdf )

Pascack Valley 1963


Please see our Flickr site for many more!


Tax BillTax Bills 1899 – 1915.

Hillsdale Telephone Directory (1964)

Hillsdale Newsletter May/June 1988

Hillsdale Newsletter October 1988

Hillsdale Newsletter March 1989

Hillsdale Newsletter Summer 1989

Hillsdale Newsletter Autumn 1989

Hillsdale Newsletter July 1990

Hillsdale Newsletter Summer 1990

Hillsdale Newsletter Autumn 1990

Hillsdale Newsletter Spring 1991

Hillsdale Newsletter July 1991

Hillsdale Newsletter Summer 1991

Hillsdale Newsletter Autumn 1991

Hillsdale Newsletter Spring 1992

Hillsdale Newsletter Summer 1992


The following books and publications were produced by Hillsdale, the Library, or are no longer under copyright protection as far as we can determine. Where possible the resulting Adobe PDF files were made searchable, however due to the limited ability of OCR software, not all text may be identified.

Picturesque HillsdalePicturesque Hillsdale: An illustrated brochure showing some of the principal residences, churches, school building, street scenes, and scenes along the Pascack River. C.H. Dunn, 1899. [unpaged].

Fifty Years Of ProgressFifty Years of Progress. 50th Anniversary Celebration / Souvenir Book Committee, 1948. [60 pages / unpaged] (54MB)

75th AnniversaryBorough of Hillsdale: 75th Anniversary 1898-1973. / The Committee, 1973. 127 pages. (23MB)

Centennial JournalHillsdale Centennial Journal 1898-1998: Looking Back… Steping Forward / The Centennial Committee, 1998. 105p. [plus advertisements] (21MB)

Hillsdale Scrapbook 1985 (27 MB)HILLSDALE SCRAPBOOK: A selection of newspaper articles about Hillsdale History published during the 50th and 75th Anniversary Years. Compiled by the Hillsdale Public Library Reference Department, 1985. (29MB) Atranscribed version with better searching capabilities is also provided.


Hillsdale Fire Association Fair – (1902)

Souvenir Programme Hillsdale Hose Co. 2 (1913, courtesy Fred Winkler)

Thirty-Fifth Anniversary of the Hillsdale Methodist-Episcopal Church (1911, courtesy Fred Winkler)

Boy Scouts booklet 1927

Hillsdale Fire Department 1902-1952

Historic Houses of Hillsdale (1973)

Hillsdale Historic Sites (1982)

Borough of Hillsdale Master Plan (1978)

Welcome to Hillsdale – 1978

Welcome to Hillsdale – 1979


1939 Hillsdale School Graduation Program

The Owl 1944The Owl (1944) – Literary magazine published by the Hillsdale Public School.

The Owl (1945) – Literary magazine published by the Hillsdale Public School.

Pascack Valley High School Football Program (1957)

George White Highlights 1978

George White Odyssey 1984

George White Reminiscence 1985

George White Memories 1987

Meadowbrook School 1979

Meadowbrook School 1981

Meadowbrook Memories 1982

Meadowbrook Memories 1983

Meadowbrook School 1984

Meadowbrook School 1985

Meadowbrook School 1986

Meadowbrook Memories 1987

Meadowbrook Memories 1988

Meadowbrook School 1989

Meadowbrook Memories 1990

Meadowbrook School 1991

Meadowbrook School 1992


A selection of videos documenting the history of Hillsdale are available on a separate page. Videos are encoded for viewing in Flash Player 8 or higher.

“This is Hillsdale” – 1983 – 29 min 14 sec (115MB)

Looking Back” – 1989 – 18 min 15 sec (70MB)

An Evening with George Jepson” – 1998 – 29 min 35 sec (116MB). This video is also commonly referred to as “Hillsdale by George.”

The library possesses original copies of the Hillsdale Herald. The collection is fairly complete from 1929 to 1942 and from 1951 to 1956. Searchable PDF copies of these issues are available on the public computers at the library.

A portion of the funding for the scanning project was provided by the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.