Monmouth County Archives Week Seminars (October 7th and 9th) & Archives and History Day (October 12th) – 2013

Archives Month Philly is a celebration of archives in the region along with Philadelphia itself. Monmouth Country has exciting programming as part of Archives Month for those in the area or willing to take the trip there. It includes dense schedule of exhibits, screenings, seminars and panels. Here’s the full posting and registration:


Archives Week Seminars
Monday, October 7, and Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Monmouth County Library, 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan, NJ 07726-3249

Monday, October 7

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Morning refreshments

9:30 a.m. to Noon. Free African American Families in Antebellum Monmouth County

Presenter: Joe Grabas, Certified Title Professional

This presentation will take a look back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when voluntary Emancipation was embraced in certain parts of Monmouth County and African American families emerged from bondage.  Families such as Jobes, Smock, Quero, Brown, Still, Abrahams, Reevy, Leo, Corlies, White, Davis, Van Der Veer, Polhemus & Stillwell. It will explore the various documents and collections in the Monmouth County Archives related to these families including, “Black” Deeds, Birth and Manumission records, Coroner’s Inquests, Estate Inventories and more.  Following the NJ Slave Codes of 1704, 1714 & 1798, the 1804 Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery and subsequent Acts and court cases continued to regulate the lives and fortunes of African American citizens of Monmouth County up to and through the Civil War.

Joseph A. Grabas is a professional educator who is recognized locally and nationally as a certified land title research expert. Joe has lectured at Rutgers University, Drew University, Bloomfield College and Monmouth University on topics from land title documents to African American History. Mr. Grabas founded the Grabas Institute for Continuing Education in 2008 to bring alternative historically based continuing education to the Title, Legal, Real Estate & Insurance professions.  He currently serves as a Commissioner on the Monmouth County Historical Commission and holds a degree in History from Monmouth University. He has spent the last 20 years researching Free African American Communities in Monmouth County.
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Margaret Bourke-White: The Prohibition Years

Presenter: Gary D. Saretzky, Archivist

Gary D. Saretzky, has served since 1994 as Archivist of Monmouth County and Coordinator of Internship Programs for the Rutgers History Department. From 1977 to 2012, he taught history of photography at Mercer County Community College. Margaret Bourke-White, who spent her childhood in New Jersey and graduated from Plainfield High School, had a stellar career as a photographer and photojournalist beginning in the late 1920s. In 1930, she became the first photographer for Fortune, and her photographs of Soviet Russia were among the first published by a Western photographer after the Russian Revolution. Saretzky conducted research in Bourke-White’s papers at Syracuse University for his 1999 article in The Photo Review on the photographer’s first book,Eyes on Russia. He was the guest curator for the exhibit, “Margaret Bourke-White: In Print,” at Alexander Library, Rutgers University, January to June 2006.

Wednesday, October 9

9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Morning refreshments
9:30 a.m. to Noon Prohibition Authors Panel 

This program features six authors who have written books on the Prohibition Era, with a focus on New Jersey. The speakers will be available for book signing after the program.

Marc Mappen, Panel Chair. Dr. Mappen was formerly a dean at Rutgers University and executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission. Now retired, he is a visiting professor in the Rutgers-New Brunswick History Department. He has six books to his credit, including the award winning Encyclopedia of New Jersey. He has been interviewed on the History Channel and National Public Radio.  Marc will give an overview of the 1920 – 1933 Prohibition era in the United States and New Jersey, drawing on his most recent book, Prohibition Gangsters: The Rise and Fall of a Bad Generation.

Jon Blackwell has been an editor for the Asbury Park Press and the New York Post, and a reporter for the Trentonian. He is the author of Notorious New Jersey: 100 True Tales of Murders and Mobsters, Scandals and Scoundrels.

Randall Gabrielan is the executive director of the Monmouth County Historical Commission and the County’s appointed historian. He has lectured and written on a variety of historic topics. His more than three dozen books, focused on central New Jersey, include towns in Monmouth County and several titles on Hudson County and New York City. His work in progress, a history of the New Jersey shore, will embrace rum running along the entire coast. Randall’s remarks will look at the extensive operations of the rumrunners and changing tactics adopted to meet enhanced efforts at enforcement.

John P. King is a retired teacher of Latin and French at Red Bank Regional High School. His five books on the history of Highlands include Wicked Tales from the Highlands (2011) and Stories from Highlands, New Jersey: A Sea of Memories (2012). John will be discussing aspects of his books that relate to the Prohibition Era.

Matthew R. Linderoth is a resident of the North Jersey Shore, holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in United States history from Monmouth University. He researches Twentieth Century United States social history. Based on his book, Prohibition on the North Jersey Shore: Gangsters on Vacation, he will discuss rum running and local residents’ reactions to the massive influx of illegal bootlegging and alcohol manufacturing along the North Jersey Shore.

Karen L. Schnitzspahn is the author or co-author of a dozen history books about the New Jersey coast, includingThe Roaring 20s at the Jersey Shore (Schiffer 2009), a sweeping panorama of life along the coast during the Prohibition Era. Her most recent book is Jersey Shore Food History (The History Press 2012). Karen has been the recipient of numerous honors including the Jane G. Clayton Award in 2007. For more than twenty years, she worked with the distinguished Monmouth County historian George H. Moss Jr. and co-authored two books with him. In her presentation, she will provide an overview of what life was like during Prohibition, aside from rumrunners and gangsters, including new roles for women and the development of tourism. She also will talk about a few of the interesting loopholes during Prohibition and some of the products that resulted.

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Dealing with Disasters: Recent Recovery Efforts in New Jersey

This program will feature speakers who have direct experience in disaster recovery at museums, libraries, and a home, primarily as a result of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Caryn Radick, Panel Chair, is Digital Archivist at Rutgers University. She has served as the New Jersey Caucus Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) since April 2012.

Heidi Amici, librarian with Monmouth County for more than twenty years, is liaison between member libraries and the County Library system. She also oversees information technology, the integrated library system, and acquisitions.  She will discuss the three libraries in the Monmouth County Library System that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy and their struggles with reopening. She will comment on the challenges they faced renovating their buildings, removing old collections, rebuilding new ones, and the impact on library service in these geographic areas.

Laura M. Poll has been the Librarian/Archivist at the Monmouth County Historical Association since 2008. Previously, she was their Project Archivist and then Assistant Librarian/Photograph Archivist. Prior to employment at MCHA, she was Registrar of Collections at Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale, N.J.). She is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference and is a consultant for the Caucus Archival Projects Evaluation Service (CAPES) program in New Jersey. She is a member of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance and a sub-committee participant with New Jersey 350. She earned her M.L.I.S. at Rutgers University, B.A. at Montclair State University, and A.A.s at Brookdale Community College.
She will discuss her organization’s response during an isolated “supercell” storm that ripped through Freehold Borough at the end of July 2012, causing damage to the Museum & Library building.

Captain Vincent Solomeno serves as Command Historian of the New Jersey National Guard and Director of the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey. In addition to a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Scranton, Vincent is a graduate of the U.S. Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He is the recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship and the J. William Fulbright Fellowship. As a Fulbright Fellow, he earned his M.A. in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam for his study of Islamic radicalization in the Netherlands. He will present on the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey’s response to Hurricane Sandy. His remarks will include an overview of the damage to the museum, steps taken to stabilize damaged artifacts, how the institution engaged public and private partners for support, and the lessons learned for future disasters.


Bust of still in Scotch Plains, circa 1930, by Paul Collier, courtesy Plainfield Public Library

Bust of still in Scotch Plains, circa 1930, by Paul Collier, courtesy Plainfield Public Library



 Time  Room  Event
8:45-10:00  5 Morning Refreshments
9:00-5:00 Library Gallery ExhibitThe Bootlegger Era: Prohibition in New Jersey
9:00-5:00 NJ History Room New Jersey History Room:  Local and State History Reference Books
9:10-9:55 Hall Exhibition Tables: Archives and History Organizations
10:00 Hall Color Guard & Pledge of Allegiance
Greetings from Renee B. Swartz, Chair, Monmouth County Library Commission
10:05-11:30 Hall Exhibition Tables: Archives and History Organizations
10:15-11:00  7 VideosOld News: Selections from the Monmouth County Archives TV 34 News Video Collection
11:30-Noon Hall Plenary Session
M. Claire French, County Clerk, Monmouth County
Jane G. Clayton Award: Cheryl A. Cook
Greetings from Freeholders, Monmouth County

Gary D. Saretzky, Monmouth County Archivist

Ronald Becker, Head, Rutgers University Special Collections

Roger McDonough Award: Bette Epstein

Carol Megill, President, Monmouth County Genealogy Society

Barbara Carver Smith Award: Nancy Heydt12:00-1:00 Exhibition Tables: Archives and History Organizations12:00 Box lunches delivered to participants (by prior arrangement)12:10-12:557Monmouth County History Forum, conducted by Monmouth County Historian Randall Gabrielan with featured speaker Marc Mappen. Discussion of Monmouth County history with an emphasis on the Prohibition Era.1:00-1:45HallFeatured speaker: Marc Mappen (speech related to his book, Prohibition Gangsters: The Rise and Fall of a Bad Generation, 2013)1:45-2:30HallExhibition tables open2:00-3:157Seminar: National History Day: Real World Work for Young Historians
Presenter: Joan Ruddiman, Ed.D
West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District
K-12 Gifted and Talented Resource Specialist
NJ History Day Advisory Board
National History Day is a well-established and popular program designed to encourage young people to learn more about history. The speaker will explain how NHD works, including the judging process for National History Day contests.2:00-2:30ArchivesTour of the Monmouth County Archives (Reservation Required)2:30HallExhibit tables close2:45HallDrawing for New Jersey History Game Prize Winners

 Archives Week 2013 is supported by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission.

For registration, contact: Shelagh Reilly, 732-308-3771 ext.7 or

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