Berks History Center leads the way in telling the 300-year story of Berks County and its people, with the aim of building an understanding of our unique history, strengthening our sense of community and inspiring our community’s progress in the years to come.
Founded in 1869, the Berks History Center (BHC) is a museum and library located at 940 Centre Avenue and 160 Spring Street (respectively) in Reading, Pennsylvania. The BHC showcases the unique local history, a vast collection of artifacts and documents, and the diverse cultural heritage of Berks County. By preserving, archiving, and promoting our collection BHC serves to instill in our citizens, of all ages and ethnic groups, an awareness and appreciation of this invaluable, growing resource of information. The BHC serves as a major cultural magnet, drawing people from all walks of life to our community. Every year, the BHC hosts thousands of patrons who visit from all 50 states and abroad.
The BHC has a vast collection of objects, paintings, books, and photographs. Included in the library collection are over 15,000 volumes, 523 Fraktur, 345 broadsides, 30,000 photographs, 1,118 microfilms, an extensive multimedia collection, a currency collection, 170 almanacs, CD’s, sheet music, minute books, newspapers dating back to 1796, blueprints, surveys, 582 maps, autographs, city directories from 1856, business and industry files, personality and family name files, census records, business records, school records, Schuylkill Navigation Company and Union Canal plans, tax records from 1754, church and cemetery