Brooklyn Historical Society

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Brooklyn Historical Society

Contact Information[edit | edit source]



128 Pierrepont Street at Clinton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Telephone:Tel: +1-718-222-4111
Fax: +1-718-222-3794

Hours and holidays:[2] Wednesday - Friday: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

  • Special Summer Hours: the library and museum are open until 8 p.m. the last Thursday of the month.
  • Contact the library prior to visit. General admission provides access to all current exhibitions, public programs and the library area during Library hours.

Directions, maps, and public transportation:[3] Public transportation is recommended due to limited parking.

  • Map
  • Subway: 2,3,4,5 to Borough Hall, A,C,F to Jay St/Borough Hall, or M,R to Court St.
  • Bus:

North – South: B 38, B52, B25, B26, B41 to Montague/Court Street East – West: B 67, B65 to Jay Street From Manhattan: B51 City Hall to Court St. /Cadman Plaza WEEKDAY SERVICE ONLY

  • From Brooklyn: Take the Belt Parkway West., which becomes Brooklyn Queens Expressway/I-278 East, to Atlantic Avenue (exit 27). Turn slight right onto Atlantic Avenue. Turn left onto Clinton Street for seven blocks to Pierrepont Street.
  • From Manhattan: Take the Brooklyn Bridge to Cadman Plaza West ramp. Go straight ahead onto Middagh Street. Turn left onto Henry Street for six blocks. Turn left onto Pierrepont Street.
  • Parking: There is limited on-street parking in the neighborhood as well as several garages: Manhattan Parking, 40 Clinton St., between Pierrepont and Cadman Plaza West; 300 Cadman Plaza West, between Clinton and Pierrepont; and Ultra on Montague between Clinton and Court.
  • Bicycles: There are designated bike lanes along Clinton and Henry Streets leading to the Brooklyn Historical Society. Public bicycle racks may be found along Montague Street, one block from BHS.

Internet sites and databases:

  • Brooklyn Historical Society Internet site-Home: Museum, Library, Blog, Public Programs, Calendar, Contact Us, Online Store, Exhibits, Current BHS Projects, Professional Development Workshops, Donations, Books, Publications, Newsletter.
  • Contact Us
  • Bobcat - online catalog. Use this to search books, periodicals, and maps. Bobcat is found on a different website as it is a cooperative catalog hosted by NYU.
  • NYU Finding Aid Portal: Use this to search for finding aids to processed archival, manuscript, oral history, and photographic collections. This is found on a different website as it is a cooperative catalog hosted by NYU.
  • Emma: Use this to search for archives, manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, library collections, and special collections.
  • Online Image Gallery: Use this to search for individual photographs. A small number of our images are currently available online, but more images are added regularly.

Collection Description[edit | edit source]

The Brooklyn Historical Society's (BHS) mission is to discover, procure, and preserve whatever may relate to general history, especially the natural, civil, literary, and ecclesiastical history of the United States, the State of New York, and more particularly of the counties, towns, and villages of Long Island. The collection includes finding aids and collections guides to archives, manuscripts, oral histories, photographs, paintings, oral history database, and maps which document property ownership and street expansion in central and southern Brooklyn.[4]

Tips[edit | edit source]

  • Finding Aids, Image and Oral History databases can be used anytime the library is open, no appointment necessary.[5]
  • New admission policy will be in effect throughout the duration of our remodeling project, from July 2012 through August 2013.[2]

Guides[edit | edit source]

  • Online Guide: Detailed listing of resources which are most frequently consulted by genealogists and family historians. Finding Aids, Image and Oral History databases can be used anytime the library is open, no appointment necessary.

Alternate Repositories[edit | edit source]

If you cannot visit or find a source at the Brooklyn Historical Society, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • New York Public Library Genealogy Division in Manhattan has an outstanding collection of American history at national, state and local levels; international genealogy and heraldry in Roman alphabets; Dorot Jewish collection; photos; New York censuses, directories, and vital records.[6] They also have the Holland Land Company deeds.*New York Public Library Branches over 90 in New York City.
  • New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), Boston, national in scope. Over 100 million name database, of vital records, genealogies, journals, over 200,000 books, 100,000 microfilms, and over 20 million manuscripts with emphasis on New England and a good New York collection since the 1600s.[7][8]
  • National Archives at New York City, has Holland Land Company deeds, federal censuses,, military, pensions, bounty land, photos, passenger indexes, New York port and shipping, naturalizations, inventions.[9]
  • Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam Municipal Archives in the Netherlands) Some of the earliest New York City (New Netherland Genealogy) records are also stored here. Also, the earliest European New York settlers often lived in Amsterdam before their move to the New World.[10] Includes the Holland Land Company 1801-1840 deeds from western New York state, and northwestern Pennsylvania.[11]
  • Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 85,000 volumes about the Jewish Holocaust, largest yizkor book collection.

Similar Collections

  • Bronx County Historical Society has a large manuscript collection, biographical files, family folders, obituaries, cemetery transcripts, city directories, and marriages.[12]
  • Queens Historical Society, Flushing, This large facility has many indexes to biographical and historical sources in their collection.</ref>
  • Staten Island Historical Society is the best place for Staten Island research. Because many immigrants settled there, they have a strong immigration collection.</ref>

Neighboring Collections

Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. Contact the Brooklyn Historical Society at Brooklyn Historical Society] (accessed 3 April 2012).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hours at Brooklyn Historical Society] (accessed 17 September 2012).
  3. Directions at Brooklyn Historical Society] (accessed 17 September 2012).
  4. Collection Description at Brooklyn Historical Society (accessed 10 September 2012).
  5. Aids at Brooklyn Historical Society] (accessed 17 September 2012).
  6. Irma and Paul Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy in New York Public Library (accessed 16 October 2010).
  7. New England Historic Genealogical Society in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia (accessed 30 August 2010).
  8. William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 5, 57, and 59. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
  9. Dollarhide and Bremer, 125-26.
  10. Gwenn F. Epperson, New Netherland Roots (Baltimore: Genealogical Pub., 1994), 37-43. WorldCat 29980509; FHL Book 974.7 D27e.
  11. Holland Land Company in SUNY Fredonia (accessed 22 November 2013).
  12. Dollarhide and Bremer, 81.
  13. List of Holdings in NYC Department of Records
  14. Birth Records in NYC Health (accessed 8 May 2016).
  15. Office of the City Clerk in The City of New York (accessed 8 May 2016).
  16. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 489. WorldCat 50140092; FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  17. Introduction to Family History Centers in Family History Research Wiki (accessed 29 February 2016).
  18. Guide to the Records of the Children's Aid Society 1836-2006 (bulk 1853-1947) MS 111 at The New-York Historical Society.
  19. Home in Leo Beck Institute (accessed 5 May 2016).
  20. Guide to the Records of the New York Foundling Hospital 1869-2009 MS 347 at New-York Historical Society (accessed 28 September 2012).
  21. History of the NYG&BS in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (accessed 5 May 2016).
  22. William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 81. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
  23. Research Resources in YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (accessed 9 May 2016).
  24. Collections in Archives of the Archdiocese of New York (5 May 2016).
  25. Dollarhide and Bremer, 83.
  26. Vital Records in New York State Department of Health (accessed 6 May 2016).
  27. Dollarhide and Bremer, 4.