State, local history will be on display at library

History buffs are awaiting with great anticipation their annual trip to the Monmouth County Library Headquarters to celebrate Archives and History Day. This year, the event will take place on Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the library headquarters, 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan.

The event is an opportunity for both young and old to learn about state and local history; to meet archivists, historians, curators, and others in the field of history and hear their stories. There is no charge for admission and the general public is invited.

Since 1996, Archives and History Day has been celebrated annually in recognition of Archives Week, which was established by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). According to a press release, its purpose is to bring together archivists, genealogists, historians, teachers, students and members of the general public interested in learning about the people and organizations that preserve New Jersey history and make it available, particularly as it relates to the history of Monmouth County.

The event, which is organized by the Monmouth County Archives in collaboration with MARAC and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, is endorsed by the New Jersey State Historical Records Advisory Board and has been attended by more than 300 people each year. Principal funding for the event is provided by the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

This year, there will be a featured speaker who is “rumored to be a great Monmouth County hero of the American Revolution.” The program will also include remarks by M. Claire French, who supervises the Monmouth County Archives in her capacity as county clerk. In addition, Freeholder Theodore J. Narozanick has been invited to address the assemblage.

Archives and History Day features exhibits and educational programs. Archives, historic sites, historical societies, libraries, museums, history-related government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations in New Jersey will present exhibits pertaining to their local programs, archival collections and the history of the state and local communities. In 2003, 75 organizations participated with exhibitions and a similar number is expected to participate in 2004. Visitors will have an opportunity to speak with exhibitors, pick up brochures and other publications, and learn about the field of public history. Exhibitors also enjoy visiting other tables, catching up on news and comparing exhibit techniques.

In addition, French will present the annual Jane G. Clayton Award to a deserving man or woman for outstanding service in the preservation and promotion of the history of Monmouth County. The announcement of the winner is expected to be made prior to Archives Day.

Archives Week at the Monmouth County Library also includes two preconference workshops on Oct. 13: one, a training workshop for teachers on using primary sources in the classroom, and the other, a hands-on book repair workshop. Registration is required for these workshops.

Additional information and a tentative program are available on the Monmouth County Archives Web site, http://www.visitmonmouth.com/archives, by email, mknox@co.monmouth.nj.us or by phone, (732) 308-3771.