ABOUT OUR COLLECTIONS
Our museum is home to thousands of objects, artifacts, and ephemera that chronicle life in Pascack Valley from the Lenape Indian days until the present. The scope of our collection is staggering – considering the size of the region we serve. At any given time, we display only a portion of our collection. This is often because of space limitations and the delicacy of certain items such as paper and textiles which can be damaged by light, heat, and humidity and must only be displayed for short periods of time. The following list of collections is not meant to be comprehensive, but merely to describe some of our larger or more frequently used collections.
ARTIFACTS & OBJECTS
Ranging from the tiny (a hat pin) to the enormous (a life-sized wooden horse) the artifact collection helps document Pascack Valley life. Our permanent museum displays include a General Store, a Colonial Room, a Victorian Parlor, 5000-year-old Lenape Indian tools, Civil War display, and early farming and home life exhibits.
COSTUMES & TEXTILES
The museum’s lower level is home to a huge textile and costume collection featuring a large vintage bridal gown collection, men, women, and children’s garments, hats, and accessories, a prestigious military garments and accessory collection, quilts, coverlets, and linens of all types, a vintage handbag collection, and Civil War mourning garments. Artifacts from this collection can be viewed by appointment and for a small donation.
The photograph collection offers an amazing insight into life in the Pascack Valley. Subjects range from street scenes, farm life, early homes, people (known and unknown), businesses, school life, military life, community events, etc.
Our Photo Collection is available for viewing during our regular visiting hours. Select photographs may be reproduced for a modest donation.
ARCHIVES & EPHEMERA
Our earliest archival items date back to the 1700s. We maintain files for the eight towns of the Pascack Valley (Westwood, Hillsdale, Emerson, Woodcliff Lake, Montvale, Park Ridge, Township of Washington, and River Vale) as well as bordering towns, special past events, county, and state history.
This area contains early local newspapers, school yearbooks, ledgers, legal documents, organizational papers, etc. Items in these collections are maintained in a stable climate of appropriate humidity and temperature so that their integrity is maintained. While we do not have the ability to display every ephemera artifact, we do allow members to view such items by appointment. A donation is appreciated for copy costs.
Libraries contain the memory of mankind. Our Katharine P. Randall Research Library, named after a past president, is the repository of irreplaceable documents of all types* (books, maps, videotapes, ephemera, photographs, oral histories, etc.) that chronicle the lives and times of people of the Pascack Valley- from Colonial days until the present. The Library is open during regular visiting hours.
Our volunteers will do their best to help you with your search. If extensive time is required, and you are not a dues-paying member of the Society, you may be asked to fill out a RESEARCH REQUEST FORM. Donations are appreciated and accepted for copy services and research support.
*PROPERTY DEEDS, MORTGAGES, BIRTH CERTIFICATES, DEATH CERTIFICATES, TAX, AND LAND MAPS ARE NOT AVAILABLE HERE. THEY MAY BE RESEARCHED AT THE COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE IN HACKENSACK, NJ.
Selected items from the museum’s collection of original artworks are displayed publicly on a rotating basis. The extensive collection includes oils, acrylics, prints and lithographs, all preserved and stored with care.
We are currently in process of digitizing the collection onto Pastperfect museum software. A link to our digital museum will be provided mid-2019.