The Henry Janssen Library is the center for genealogical and historical research at the Berks History Center. 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 contains a wealth of information dating back to the early 1700s.
BHC’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
Members: Free Non-Members: $7.00
Students with a valid student ID: Free
PLEASE NOTE: THE HJL CANNOT ACCEPT ANY NEW RESEARCHERS AFTER 3:30. THANK YOU!
Before you visit, please check out our Rules of the Library
For more information regarding our Research Service, please click here
Before visiting, search through our databases:
Please note: We do not accept research requests through email.
Also, 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:
For a Guide to Pennsylvania Historical Resources, please click here.