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The Henry Janssen Library is the center for genealogical and historical research at the Historical Society of Berks County. The Henry Janssen Library is acknowledged to be one of the best and most thoroughly indexed collections of county data in Pennsylvania.

The Henry Janssen Library will open at 10:45 on Saturday, November 9th
in order to allow staff and volunteers to attend the HSBC Annual Meeting.

Please note: We are no longer accepting research requests through email

Research Service
The Henry Janssen Library contains a wealth of information dating back to the early 1700s. HSBC’s archival holdings have grown extensively since the founding of the Society in 1869 and include both personal and family papers as well as the records of churches, cemeteries and local businesses. Our collections are growing daily. Some items especially worth noting are:
  • County tax records from 1754 to 1850
  • Census reports from 1790 to 1920
  • Over 17,000 photographs
  • Newspapers from 1796 to the 1940s (including the run of the Reading Eagle from 1869 to 1988).
  • Church and Cemetery Records from 1730 to present
  • Numerous histories on local Berks County families
Online Look-Up Requests
$8.00 per Look-up Request Form
Please Note: While some of our collections might contain the items listed below, Researchers are encouraged to contact the Berks County Court House or the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the following:
Library - Museum Hours - Tuesday through Saturday - 9AM to 4PM

Library Admission for non-members
  • There is a $7.00 per day charge for non-members for library use.
Conditions of use (pdf)

Children under 12 are not permitted in the library.
Students with valid id: Free
Free, off street parking, is available.
Become a Member! For more information call 610-375-4375
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Berks History Center  940 Centre Avenue  Reading,  Pennsylvania  19601  Phone 610-375-4375
Copyright 2014 Historical Society of Berks County DBA Berks History Center. All Rights Reserved