HCHS Research Policy

As a historical society, we collect, organize and preserve collections, manuscripts and genealogy resources and make them available to the public. Many of our holdings consist of collections donated by area individuals, families and businesses. These collections help document the history of Hunterdon County. We also maintain a research library. These holdings consist of self-published family genealogies and biographies, documents donated by other genealogists, bound manuscripts and volumes, church records, early marriage records, county records and much more. We have books about the environment, families, houses and businesses of Hunterdon County. We also support distance queries sent by email or U.S. mail for research on family or other topics.

Our income is solely based on membership dues and general donations. As distance research queries have become more complicated and require more time by our volunteers, we are following the lead of other historical societies and charging a nominal fee for this service.  These fees also will help fund our facilities’ utility costs as well as the purchase of relevant genealogies, biographies and published family histories.

Reference and Reproduction Services

The Hiram E. Deats Memorial Library, the Library and Archives of the Hunterdon County Historical Society, is open for business every Thursday (except for major holidays), 12 Noon to 4 PM, and the second and fourth Saturday of each month, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Appointments for research purposes may also be pre-arranged with the Society’s Executive Director. The retrieval and use of manuscripts, microfilm, and other library materials ends 15 minutes prior to closing time of each open business day.

The rules for the use of the library may be found on page LIBRARY RULES or CLICK HERE.

In summary, eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited on the library premises. The following items are discouraged in our library: pens, briefcases, purses, waist pouches, portfolio cases, research file bins, zip notebooks, luggage, book bags, computer bags, coats and umbrellas. The library has a place these items may be stored and/or hung during your visit. Cellular phones and/or pagers should be set to vibrate mode (please take or make calls outside the library). Also, personal and portable scanning devices are prohibited in the library. Please note, the Hiram E. Deats Memorial Library is a reference library; no library or archival material may be borrowed or taken from the library for any reason. There is no fee for use of the library during open business hours.

Also please note that the Hunterdon County Historical Society is a private, non-profit historical corporation that is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Hunterdon County and to a larger extent, New Jersey. The Society is not an agency or division of the government of Hunterdon County, and is not publicly funded. As such, the Society is not subject to the public records laws of NJ, including the Open Public Records Act.

Mail Reference

RESEARCH POLICIES

Reference Copy Requests

HCHS will respond to reference copy requests for documents with specific citations. Requests for cited documents should be made in writing (either electronically or in traditional mail format), must include a specific citation to a document in our possession or to which we hold a published index and/or reproduction rights, and have a clear return address to mail the documents to.

Fees will be charged at a rate of $.50 per page plus $1.00 for postage and handling. Fee should be remitted upon receipt of document. HCHS reserves the right to ask for prepayment for reference requests that will total over $10 in fees. HCHS reserves the right to refuse document service and instead charge for research ($25 for two hours) if the reference request is determined to be too large.

Paid research may be requested in two ways:

  • Download an application, fill it out and mail it with a check for $25 to: Research Query, Hunterdon County Historical Society, 114 Main Street, Flemington, NJ 08822.
  • Online: Pay the $25 fee via paypal. Once the fee is paid you will be forwarded to a form to fill out.

$25 per query: Distance research such as queries emailed or mailed to the Society requesting information is available at $25 per query. This includes two hours of researching our library and archive resources. Please note we do not conduct off-site research such as trips to the Hall of Records, or the Offices of the County Clerk or Surrogate.

Research fees are nonrefundable and apply whether or not any relevant information is found. Results will be emailed or mailed. We may offer suggestions how you may continue researching, provide alternate resources and/or suggest hiring a professional genealogist.

The Library is open to the public for research every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) from 12 – 4pm and the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 10am – 4pm. There is no charge for doing your own research in the library.


– Download a Genealogy Research Request Form Here –
– Download a Research Request Form Here –

OR Sign up online: Genealogy Button Research Button

New Jersey Vital Records
Please note, we do not have official birth, death, or marriage certificates. For these, we suggest you contact any or all of the following:

PLEASE NOTE: we do not research house histories. These records are located at the County Clerk’s office in Flemington.

Reproduction Services

General Considerations: The Hunterdon County Historical Society maintains accessioned materials and private records that have been legally transferred into the ownership of the Society. It is the constitutional obligation of the Society to provide access and reproduction of such materials under the mandate of our by-laws (collect, preserve, and share).

The Society also maintains – as reference material – printed books, microfilm of county, municipal, and private records, federal censuses, church records, and other materials including database and CD-Rom resources. Reproduction and printing from these media is discretionary on the part of the Society management and not subject to public records law. While photocopying from printed books and microfilm is available on premises, we do not offer color photocopying or photographic reproduction of published sources, illustrations from books, or copyrighted material.

The Society’s professional staff has been authorized by the trustees to make a determination as to the fragility of manuscript and other graphic material, and, when appropriate, to deny direct photocopying requests. It is generally the Society’s policy to allow photocopying whenever possible in cases where an alternate media such as microfilm of the original does not exist. However, manuscript and graphic material (including photographs) suffers damage from repeated light exposure and requests for multiple photocopies of such material over time may be denied for this reason.

In order to protect original materials the Society prohibits the use of outside scanning and photography equipment other than a non-lighted/non-flash hand held camera. Special arrangements and permission must be made in advance of a visit for non-flash photography and non-lighted video. Special service charges may apply in cases where extensive staff time is required, such as scanning reproduction services. The Society’s photocopying and scanning equipment is for use by Society staff only.
Reproduced images used in publications and websites or otherwise widely distributed should credit the Hunterdon County Historical Society, with specific collection or material citations as appropriate.

All payments should be in cash or payable to the Hunterdon County Historical Society.

Photocopying – General:

  • Copies from reference books for patrons in person, up to 8.5” x 14”: $0.25 per page.
  • Copies from microfilm, up to 11” x 17”: $0.50 per page.
  • Copies of manuscript materials, up to 11” x 17”: $0.50 per page.

All services are subject to the availability of staffing and equipment. Unusual copy requests, and oversized requests, may require outside vendors at the discretion of the Society, in which case the requestor shall pay the outside vendor directly in addition to applicable hourly or other fees (including transportation) to be determined on a case specific basis.

Photographic Reproduction
Scanned images:

  • $25.00 per image. Requestor will receive one 600dpi .tif file, one 300 dpi jpeg file, and one thumbnail per image scanned. The images will not be altered from the original in any way.
  • Files may be delivered electronically, or via DVD. Charge for DVD: $5.00
  • Laserjet print, up to 8.5” x 14”: $5.00.

Written permission is required to use photographic reproductions.  Please download form to submit. Thank you! – Download Right to Publish Form –

Statement on Copyright and Fair Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

Publication and Use

Please note that all reference reproductions are for personal/study use only. The possession of a reproduction of HCHS collection materials and the payment of associated reproduction service fees, does not constitute or imply permission to publish or exhibit. It is necessary for researchers to obtain separate, written permission for the publication or exhibition of all material held in the HCHS collections. All licenses are for one use only and each additional instance of use must be separately requested in writing. Usage rights fees, above and beyond reproduction costs, may apply and vary depending on whether a reproduction is for an individual, non-profit, or commercial institution and how it will be used (personal research, publication, exhibition, etc.). All reproductions must credit the Hunterdon County Historical Society as the source of the image or document. Written permission is required to use photographic reproductions.  Please download form to submit. Thank you! – Download Right to Publish Form –

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