Research

Please support the David Webster Memorial Fund to enhance our collections space.

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David passed away on July 4th, 2015. His title was Collections Manager, but that doesn’t begin to describe all of his contributions. He was continually pushing the Museum to embrace new technologies, acquiring and cataloguing artifacts, curating and fabricating exhibits. David began working here in 1999, when he created the first professional system to manage our growing collections. Eventually he took on a larger role in exhibit design and fabrication.

Most of what you see in our exhibits for the past decade has been due to David’s hard work and creative touch, although he shied away from any public acknowledgement of his enormous contributions.

His legacy lives on in the highly searchable online collections catalogue on our website. To honor his memory, the Museum has set up a David Webster Memorial Fund, which will be dedicated to continuing David's work to improve the Museum's collections management. Click here to donate

Collections

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The Hoboken Historical Museum’s collections holds over 100,000 documents, maps, drawings, books, photographs, slides, videos and objects related to the history of our city. While the museum has been collecting since 1986, formal accessioning and cataloging began in 2001. Since 2006, the Museum has offered an online version of its collections catalog. Our mission is collecting materials related only to Hoboken, but some holdings do relate to the surrounding region or are part of our national heritage such as World War I Port of Embarkation, ocean liners or Stevens family activities. It includes tribute items related to one of Hoboken's most famous citizens, Frank Sinatra, but other materials name many other people. The people file has over 17,000 names and records include several tens of thousands of names in descriptions or images.

Objects can range from the vecoll HA 20050640001MHsign day 2001032002101ry small - a Holland America Line sandwich or cocktail pick - to the very large - the twelve-foot high "Last Drop" that was part of the world-famous Maxwell House Coffee "Good to the Last Drop" neon sign that graced our waterfront from 1938 to about 1993.

Do we have everything about Hoboken? No, and never will. The scopmhsigninstalled20011710001e and range of people's lives, commerce, government, schools and more will always outstrip our capacity to collect everything that can be considered historical. We must be selective in what we collect and preserve to eventually present to the public about Hoboken through exhibitions, publications, events and digitally. The Museum is very grateful for the people who through the years have helped to fulfill, and continue to support, our mission by the donation of Hoboken items of all kinds. Our catalog credits and the Gifts and Acquisitions pages are only a small token of recognition to the these people.

USING THE ONLINE COLLECTIONS CATALOG

Users can access an online collections database containing nearly 16,000 records with over 56,000 viewable images. It is in an easy-to-use format and as of mid-2015, it became mobile adaptive for phone and tablet users. It has multiple ways to research Hoboken's past.

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