DATES:   1970-1987 (bulk, Dec. 1979-Feb. 1987)
VOLUME:   16 cubic feet (approx.)


The Red Bank Register was founded as a weekly in 1878 and converted to a daily in 1959.  It added a Sunday section in the 1970s and went back to being a weekly in 1989.  The last issue appeared on November 13, 1991.

After the Register was sold to a subsidiary of Greater Media in 1987, its librarian, Olga Boeckel, divided some of the photographic film and clippings to at least one individual and three institutions.  These files dated back to late 1970 or early 1971, after a fire had destroyed the earlier materials.  Ms. Boeckel donated a large collection of newspaper clippings to the Monmouth County Library – Eastern Branch.  These clippings were later transferred to the Library’s Western Branch, also known as the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan, which subsequently transferred them to the Monmouth County Archives (for details, see separate guide to for the clippings). 

Information regarding the disposition of the film is incomplete but the following information is currently available.  In 2004, Monmouth County Historian George H. Moss, Jr., donated 277 envelopes to the Monmouth County Archives with black-and-white negatives and color transparencies pertaining to Rumson and Sea Bright (1973-1987, bulk, 1980-1986) that he had obtained from Ms. Boeckel.  In 2008, the Shrewsbury Historical Society donated approximately 14,750 envelopes with black-and-white negatives or color positive transparencies to the Archives, most of which were from the 1980s.  Subsequently, the Archives learned that Ms. Boeckel had divided the negatives into two main batches, one of which went to the Shrewsbury Historical Society and the other to the Middletown Historical Society, which obtained the bulk of the negatives from the 1970s.

After acquiring the materials, the Archives began to replace the original acidic envelopes with archival quality sleeves, a process which is ongoing.  Data on the original envelopes is transferred to the new enclosures.

Scope and Content

The collection, which consists of 35mm negatives and color positive transparencies, is filed in chronological order, with exceptions noted below.  Each envelope contains from a few to more than 30 frames.  The total number of frames in the collection is approximately 100,000 but these include many near-duplicates as photographers often tried several shots of the same subject if it was static.  Most of the envelopes carry a five-digit file number and a date.  Some numbers repeat, suggesting that either more than one assignment was shot on a roll or that a mistake was made in numbering.  There are brief descriptions of the contents on the envelopes. 

The main exception to the continuous chronological arrangement is one box of negatives pertaining to the Register itself, December 1970-1982.  These negatives are arranged chronologically within the box.  Most of these negatives depict people who were on the staff of the newspaper.  Except for these negatives, almost all the negatives and color positive transparencies available at the Monmouth County Archives are from December 1979 to February 1987. 

A second exception is the collection donated by George Moss, which is filed separately.  Only two of the sleeves contain negatives predating 1979; the rest date from 1979 to 1987. 

Third, a small number of negatives were found in sleeves without numbers or dates and are filed separately. 

Finally, color transparencies, about 1% of the file, were removed by the Archives staff for refrigerated storage to enhance stability.

Other than the images of the Register staff, subjects of the photographs are predominantly people and events, including sports.  (See the clippings finding aid for more information about subjects covered by the newspaper.)


The collection is open for use without restriction. Researchers will be asked to take measures to prevent fingerprints on the film.

The Moss donation has been cataloged in a PastPerfect database and is searchable at the Archives only.  The rest of the collection is gradually being cataloged in PastPerfect but until this task is completed, access is primarily by date.  Researchers may identify the date of an image using microfilm of the newspaper or the online edition available on the website of the Middletown Township Public Library:  The microfilm and online edition can also be used to identify the photographer, as no photographers are identified on the negative sleeves.

The Red Bank Register was acquired by The Sentinel Publishing Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Greater Media, Inc.  In a letter dated March 29, 2010, Ellen J. Rubin, Vice President and General Counsel of The Sentinel Publishing Co., granted the Monmouth County Archives a perpetual, royalty-free license to make copies and derivative works of the images in the negatives, to distribute copies to third parties for personal and public, non-profit use, and to use the images for other public purposes such as exhibits.  By this license, the Archives may not charge a user fee (other than copying or development costs) and it may not provide the images to a third party who intends to profit from sales of the images, except where the images are not the primary focus of a publication.  Third parties who intend to publish images that are the primary focus of a publication should contact Greater Media, 35 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 300, Braintree, MA 02184.

Users who intend to publish are strongly encouraged to review current statutes (Title 17) regarding copyright and/or to obtain legal advice before publishing.   The following information, current as of January 1, 2008, may be helpful and is based on the assumption that negatives in the Monmouth County Archives were “works for hire” and that therefore the Red Bank Register had the rights to their publication. 

Published Red Bank Register negatives from 1970 to 1987:

These images are copyright protected for 95 years from date of publication if a copyright notice appears in the newspaper.  However, at least some issues of the Red Bank Register were published without copyright notice.  Users should check the issue of the newspaper to see if it carries a copyright notice.  If there is no notice, and the photographs were “works for hire” and not obtained from another source such as a picture agency, the images could be in the public domain. 

Unpublished Red Bank Register negatives, 1970-1987

If not published, the images are protected for 120 years from date of creation.  Typically, a photographer would take a number of photographs on location and only one or two would be published.

for an overview of copyright restrictions.

\red bank register negatives

rev. 03/12/2009, 5/7/2009; 3/30/2010; 8/17/2010


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