Cranford History

Local History: Yours, Mine and Ours

Why Consider Local History?

At home, the Project Librarian (me) has these three things on a shelf :

Three Figures of Local History

Ganesha – Indian God – Remover of Obstacles, The Sleeping Lady of Malta, and The Queen of the Lewis Chessmen

  • Each is a representation of an historical artifact.
  • They hail from all over the world.  India, Malta, Scotland.
  • They represent long ago times.
  • I like them and they intrigue me; when I look at them I remember that I learned something as I acquired each fascinating object.

It seems funny that I know more about far away places and events – places that I might never return to – than I do about my “new” home town, Cranford; where I have lived for the last twenty years.

Throughout  my graduate studies in information science, one topic I kept returning to when needing to apply my new academic training was local history librarianship.  It has been fun to  research and gather and organize information about my town, Cranford, New Jersey.  I has also been fun to study the organizations that do similar work – libraries of all sizes and local history organizations around the world, but in particular those in the United States.

My specialization is in digital library models organizations deploy.

Successful organizations have preservation and outreach strategies to ensure that their collections endure.  The stewards of these collections have invested time, resources and their passion in cultivating these treasure troves of materials.  The interesting stories of our local history guardians are part of the history of the community itself; and there is still plenty of room at that table, for new helpers and guardians to gather and interpret local history materials.

I hope you enjoy this site and help contribute to building local history resources wherever you might be. Our cultural memories are precious and need to be protected.







Local History Digital Libraries – It’s Personal


What next?

I have a long-term interest in Community and Social Informatics.   Local History touches on many rich topics such as: community creativity and achievement, the concept of “The Great Good Place” and using Local History to create the 3rd place in Oldenburg’s model, Cultural Memory, vibrant interdisciplinary dialogue, contemporary issues, cultural and collective memory, traumatic memory, collective and national forgetting, memorialization, museology, historical consciousness historiography, archive and testimony.

Trusteeship, Stewardship, and Erikson’s stage of psychosocial development – Generativity



  1. Steve
    August 1, 2012

    A recent book providing research techniques and sources for studying local history, especially that of Cranford (as well as other New Jersey towns), is described here:

    • Cranford History
      August 2, 2012

      Yes, this is a great book. This book is available at the Cranford Public Library and for purchase at the Cranford Historical Society. Terrific resource.

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