Call for Papers: New Jersey Forum

The New Jersey Historical Commission, the NJ State Archives, and the NJ State Museum invite proposals for research papers to be delivered at the New Jersey Forum, to be held on Saturday, November 20, 2010. Held every other year, the New Jersey Forum provides an opportunity for college and university faculty, teachers, graduate students, independent scholars, museum professionals, historical society members, and all others with an interest in New Jersey studies to present new research to their peers.

This interdisciplinary conference defines New Jersey studies broadly, covering not only traditional state history, but also archaeology, geography, fine and decorative arts, material culture, the humanities, literature, ethnic studies, the history of science and technology, labor and industry, public policy, religious history, and popular culture—all with special emphasis on new scholars and scholarship.

If you would like to present a research paper at the Forum, email a proposal to the following address: [email protected]

This proposal must include:

1) the title of the paper

2) contact information (address, telephone, e-mail)

3) a one-paragraph bio

4) an abstract of no more than 500 words

5) any audio-visual requirements for presenting your paper

You can also suggest a panel with two papers. Please include the information requested above for each proposed panelist. All information must be provided by e-mail. The deadline for receipt of proposals is December 15, 2009. All proposals will be referred to an advisory committee, which will select the papers to be presented at the Forum. Notifications of acceptance will be sent in February 2010.

Accepted papers may be considered for publication in the Commission-sponsored journal, New Jersey History.

The New Jersey Forum is sponsored by the three history-related agencies of the New Jersey Department of State: the Historical Commission, the State Archives, and the State Museum.

For more information contact Peter Mickulas at the above email address.

New Jersey History Journal Resurrected After 4 Years

The journal New Jersey History, founded as the Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society in 1845 and published under the direction of the Society until 2005, has been re-launched under the editorial direction of historians at the New Jersey Historical Commission, Kean University, and the Society. This peer-reviewed journal will be published online twice a year by the Rutgers University Libraries.

Peter Mickulas, editor of New Jersey History, has written New York History to say that the renewal of the Garden State’s premiere historical journal should be of interest to historians of New York as well. &#8220We’re likely to publish (and recruit) items of interest to New York historians and historians of New Netherlands in particular,&#8221 he told me in an e-mail, &#8220As the editor, I’m going construe &#8220regional&#8221 topics broadly.&#8221

The editorial staff invites scholars, students, and writers to submit scholarly articles aimed at a non-specialized audience for its forthcoming issues. They welcome essays from all disciplines &#8211 for example, law, literature, political science, anthropology, archaeology, material culture, cultural studies, and social and political history &#8211 bearing on any aspects of New Jersey’s history.

They are also interested in documents, photographs, and other primary source material that could be published with annotations.

The Fall 2009 issue, Volume 124, number 1, is now available online. This issue, the first published in four years, includes the following essays:

* Lucia McMahon, William Paterson University, &#8220&#8216-A More Accurate and Extensive Education than is Customary’: Educational Opportunities for Women in Early Nineteenth-Century New Jersey&#8221

* Matthew T. Raffety, University of Redlands, &#8220Political Ethics and Public Style in the Early Career of Jersey City’s Frank Hague&#8221

* Richard W. Hunter, Nadine Sergejeff and Damon Tvaryanas, &#8220On The Eagle’s Wings: Textiles, Trenton, and a First Taste of the Industrial Revolution&#8221

* Michael Kazin, Georgetown University, &#8220The Arc of Liberalism and the Career of Harrison &#8216-Pete’ Williams&#8221

The issue also presents a new historic &#8220Survey of the Canals and Water Raceways of New Jersey&#8221 by the New Jersey Geological Survey and reviews of new and notable scholarship on the history of the state.

NJH is also supported by the New Jersey Digital Highway, which will provide an additional access point for the journal from its website, and will preserve the digital version of the journal via the RUcore preservation platform. Rutgers University Press will help market the new journal, enabling it to reach the broadest possible audience.

For further details email peter.mickulas[AT] or visit the journal homepage.

Thomas Edison Home, Laboratory Complex Reopens

The National Park Service is welcoming visitors to the new newly renovated Edison Laboratory Complex at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, New Jersey. According to the site’s Superintendent Greg Marshall, “The original music recording studio, Thomas Edison’s private laboratory, and a photography studio will be open to the public for the first time in the history of the site.”

The renovation was a complex project to preserve the historic buildings and the artifact and archival collections at the Laboratory Complex and Glenmont Estate. The original historic furnishings and documents were beginning to deteriorate because of lack of adequate heating and cooling systems. They were at risk of loss or damage from fire because of old, outdated alarm and sprinkler systems. The vast majority of the artifact collection was inaccessible to visitors and researchers while stored on the upper floors of the historic main laboratory.

The original furnishings have been moved back into many rooms and the unique museum collections will be available to see, hear, and experience. Installation of a new elevator and stair tower adjacent to the main laboratory building allows new public access to the upper floors of the laboratory that now feature new exhibits. The Edison home at the Glenmont Estate has also been renovated. Other improvements include new fire detection system and upgraded fire sprinkler system, new heating and cooling systems, and exterior building repairs and an integrated drainage system.

The $13 million partnership project with the Edison Innovation Foundation and Charles Edison Fund of Newark, New Jersey also includes new heating and cooling systems, new fire detection and suppression systems, and structural repairs to the historic building’s roofs, foundations, and windows. The new Thomas Edison experience offers visitors self-guided audio tours, cell phone tours, films, grounds walks, school workshops and traditional guided programs.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a unit of the National Park Service that preserves and interprets the West Orange Laboratory and Home of inventor Thomas Alva Edison. Information is available at:

The Edison Innovation Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the Edison Legacy and encourages students (including women and minorities) to embrace careers in science, technology and engineering and is committed to educating the next generation of great innovators while using Edison and his Invention Factory as the foundation. For information on the Foundation, visit:

Dutch Colonial Clergy Conference Announced

The Reformed Church Center of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N.J. will co-host an event titled The Colonial Clergy Conference: Dutch Traditions and American Realities with the Collegiate Church of New York, the Van Raalte Institute in Holland, Michigan, the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, Netherlands, and the Reformed Church in America Archives. Planned as part of a larger celebration this year of Henry Hudson’s voyage for the Dutch to the Hudson River and New York, it is an international event being held September 27-28th at the Haworth Center at Hope College in Holland, Michigan and October 24th at First Reformed Church, 9 Bayard St., New Brunswick, N.J. Additional information about registration, etc. can be found on the website:

In Holland, Michigan, the speakers will be Dr. Leon van den Broeke, Assistant Professor in Religion, Law and Society and Director of the Center for Religion and Law at Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands- Dr. Willem Frijhof, Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History at Free University- Dr. Hans Krabbendam, Assistant Director of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands- Dr. Earl Wm. Kennedy, Senior Research Fellow and Professor of Religion Emeritus at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa- Dr. Firth Haring Fabend, Fellow of the New Netherland Project and Historian for The Holland Society of New York,- and Dr. John Coakley, L. Russell Feakes Memorial Chair and Professor of Church History at New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Speakers in New Brunswick, New Jersey will include Dr. Leon van den Broeke- Dr. Joyce Goodfriend, Professor of History at the University of Denver- Dr. John Coakley- Dr. Dirk Mouw, past Albert A. Smith Fellow at New Brunswick Theological Seminary- Dr. Firth Haring Fabend, and Dr. Robert Naborn, Director of the Dutch Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Also included in the day is a tour of the church’s historic cemetery and bell tower, lunch, and an opportunity to order a book which will be based on the papers presented. First Reformed Church was founded in 1717 and the current building dates to 1765.

The New Jersey Forum: New Research in NJ Studies

Although this is a blog of New York History, occasionally we’ll make announcements about regional events that New York historians might have interest in.

The New Jersey Forum: New Research in New Jersey Studies will be held Saturday, November 22, 2008 at the Trenton Marriott Hotel. The event is sponsored by the New Jersey Historical Commission, the NJ State Archives, and the New Jersey State Museum

Registration information and a preliminary program of events is available via word document here.

Expected sessions include:

Hope, Fear and Pestilence: Public Health in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century New Jersey

Newsprint, Fear, and the Cholera: A History of the 1832 Cholera Outbreaks in New Jersey (Margaret Charleroy, University of Minnesota )

The 1918 Influenza Outbreak in New Jersey (Jennifer Harmsen, Hillsborough Middle School + Rutgers-NJIT History Department)

Pestilence Across the Delaware: New Jersey and the Yellow Fever Epidemics of the 1790s (Sandra Moss, New Jersey Medical History Society)

Interpreting a Preserved Landscape: New Jersey Museums and Architecture

New Solutions for House Museums (Donna Ann Harris, Heritage Consulting, Inc.)

Take Any Exit: The Colonial Revival in New Jersey (Harriette Hawkins, independent scholar)

Telling the Straight Story: Truth & Fiction in Building Interpretation (Margaret Westfield, Westfield Architects)

Suburban Stories: Place and Race in Twentieth-Century New Jersey

Extremely Suburban: Narratives from 20th-Century Princeton (Michael H. Ebner, James D. Vail III Professor of History, Emeritus, Lake Forest College)

African American Suburbanization and Racial Politics in Pre-World War II Montclair
(Patricia Hampson, Rutgers University)

A National “Black Brain Center” in Post-WWII Fort Monmouth, NJ (Melissa Ziobro, staff historian, U.S. Army CECOM Life Cycle Management Command, Fort Monmouth, NJ)

Parks and Bonapartes: Landscapes of 19th and 20th century New Jersey

&#8220He Will be a Bourgeois American and Spend his Fortune in Making Gardens”: A Preliminary Examination of Joseph Bonaparte’s Point Breeze Estate, Bordentown, New Jersey (Richard Veit, Department of History and Anthropology, Monmouth University)

The Development of Branch Brook Park – America’s First County Park (Kathleen Galop, Preservation Possibilities)

Morristown: A Cultural Landscape Study (Gillian Acheson, Department of Geography, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville)

Revolutionary Women: Female Education and Political Activism in Early New Jersey

“A More Accurate and Extensive Education than is Customary”: Educational Opportunities for Women in Early Nineteenth-Century New Jersey (Lucia McMahon, William Paterson University)

The Ladies of Trenton: Women’s Political and Public Activism in Revolutionary New Jersey (Catherine Hudak, Morris Hills High School, Rockaway, NJ)

“Working for the Slave as a Mother would Work for her Children”: Abigail Goodwin and the Anti-slavery Movement in New Jersey (Bruce Scherer, Project Archivist/Librarian, Salem County Historical Society, Salem, NJ)

Eighteenth-Century New Jersey Families

From London Publisher to American Farmer: Benjamin Clarke and his Diary of East New Jersey (Robert Craig, Historic Preservation Office, NJ Department of Environmental Protection)

Black and White Together? Slavery and Freedom in Upper Freehold Township from the Colonial Period to the Early Republic (Sue Kozel, Independent scholar)

Vital History: What Two Generations of a Loyalist Family Reveals About the American Revolution (Donald Sherblom, President, 1759 Vought House, Inc.)