Reopening to the Public

We are looking forward to getting back to what we do best; welcoming you to the Berks History Center to explore and discover your Berks History! The wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers, and staff is our top priority. The BHC team has been hard at work behind the scenes, reviewing the best available public health advice and preparing for your return.

Please note that our hours have changed. Public visitation hours for both the museum and library will be Wednesday through Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM, and appointments will be required. No walk-ins will be permitted.

In addition to updated hours of operation, daily cleaning procedures and our new Health & Safety Protocols for Visitors, all visitors, volunteers, and staff will need to undergo a temperature check before entering the buildings. We also want you to know that face coverings will be required for the duration of your visit.

The library and museum we closed earlier this year will not be the same when we reopen. Before you plan to visit the Berks History Center, please review our new Health & Safety Protocols for Visitors

Opening August 5th by Appointment Only

We are excited to announce that on Wednesday, August 5th the BHC will reopen to the public. We have been waiting for this day for months and we know you have too.

As a special thank you to our members, who have stood by us during this time, we will be opening our sites to members only the previous week: Wednesday, July 29th – Saturday, August 1st.

The appointment system is necessary to manage the capacity restrictions that have been mandated by the state, particularly in our research library.  Additionally, there is a 72-hour quarantine for materials used by researchers.  Appointments will help the staff at our library manage research materials in a way that is efficient and safe for our visitors. 

Call 610-375-4375 to schedule your visit!

Plan Your Visit

Before you visit the Berks History Center, please review the checklist below:

  • Schedule Your Appointment by Calling 610-375-4375

  • Review BHC’s Visitor Health & Safety Protocols
  • Arrive at Your Pre-Scheduled Appointment Time

    • Arriving on time will to help ensure maximum access for all of our visitors as well as everyone’s safety

    • Parking is Available at 160 Spring Street

  • Wear Your Mask Properly Before Entering the Museum or Library Building and Be Prepared to Wear It for the Duration of Your Visit

    • Don’t worry, we have extras available on site
  • Prepare to Maintain Appropriate Social Distance Whenever Possible

    • Pleased maintain 6 feet between you and others

  • If you are sick, have a cough or fever, have any health conditions that might make you susceptible to illness or are considered high-risk, we ask that you please stay home. 

Protecting Your Health

Disinfection Procedures

The entire building will be decontaminated and disinfected with museum-appropriate cleaning materials prior to reopening, and after opening in accordance with best practices. Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the building.

Cleaning Protocols

Once open, staff will perform enhanced cleaning throughout the day to ensure healthy and safe conditions in the building.

Personal Protection Equipment

Face coverings will be required for all visitors older than age two inside our building, including employees. Face coverings will be made available, without charge, to anyone requesting them. 

Facilities Still on Pause

During our initial reopening period, some spaces may be closed. Our Hands on History Room will be closed until further notice. The auditorium will reopen when our onsite public programming resumes, with social distancing protocols in place. 

Social Distancing

Social distancing is required and will be enforced; parties may remain together; children must stay with adults at all times. 

We encourage you to limit handshakes, hugs and close contact with one another while visiting the Berks History Center. We also ask that both visitors and staff practice the everyday actions that help to prevent the spread of an illness, which include the following:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. Do not sneeze into your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the restroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g. countertops, light switches, cell phones, remotes)

Posters have been placed in common areas to remind everyone of these important guidelines. Be Smart, Stay Safe: An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. Please observe the precautions above!

Reopening Timeline

Week of July 20 

  • Open for Appointment Scheduling
    • Call 610-375-4375

Week of July 27

  • Open to Members by Appointment Only
    • Wednesday through Saturday, 9AM-3PM

Week of August 3

  • Open to General Public by Appointment Only
    • Wednesday through Saturday, 9AM-3PM
Berks History Center has completed the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance’s “Best Practices for Re-Opening” Certificate Program