New Access for the Bartles Papers I
Long time patrons of the HCHS manuscript collections are undoubtedly familiar with the Bartles Papers. The Bartles Papers, Collection No. 34, are one of the most widely used collections in our archives, as well as being one of our largest collections. The collection is comprised of 38 boxes of records that have both genealogical and historical significance.
The papers are primarily those of Charles Bartles, a prominent lawyer in Flemington in the Nineteenth Century. They are full of deeds, leases, mortgages, surveys, estate material, papers relating to the Flemington Railroad, the Flemington Copper Company, and several other mining and land ventures. There are also papers relating to his responsibilities during the Civil War, including militia lists and letters to Governors, as well as correspondence and legal work for many Hunterdon families, much of which contains family information. Also included in his papers are Papers of two county lawyers and their practices that he acquired in his career, those of William Maxwell and John Bryan.
Through the efforts of HCHS volunteers, the Papers of Charles Bartles are now more accessible than ever before, hopefully broadening their interest to a new generation of researchers. As followers of the HCHS and its archives already know, we have been engaged in a project that has been slowly digitizing and making available electronic versions of the inventories of our manuscript collections. The Bartles collection is the next collection that has become available! The most exciting thing about this new access tool is that the Bartles papers, in addition to an inventory, also has an index. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname or company name, and gives a numerical page number for each inventory entry where that person or company may be found. Looking up family names is easy; researchers can simply find the name, note the page number in the inventory, and then open up the inventory (please note the fact that the inventory is in 4 files defined by range of page numbers) to that page. The inventory is complete to the folder level, and often describes individual items in the folder.
Of course, once it is determined that a file or folder is of interest, the researcher still has to come to the HCHS during open reference hours to access the material. Because of its frequent use, this collection is filmed and is available for microfilm use in the Deats Memorial Library. Alternatively, those interested in using the collection from a distance may inquire as to our mail reference policies and fees. It is important to note that researchers may also be interested in Collection No. 75, the Bartles Papers II, also available here at the HCHS archives.