library and archives

Library & Archives

PLEASE NOTE:  In order to maintain proper capacity numbers and social distancing, online reservations (for Members and General Public) will be required to access the Library and Archives.  You may choose from 1/2 day or full day options.  First time visitors should contact us before scheduling so that we can assist you with planning your visit.  Please call 717-848-1587 x 223 or email Adam Bentz at  Thank you

Please review Library Rules & Policies before your visit.  Please only bring what you need for research into the Library.  Lockers are available for bags, purses and other personal items.  We allow pencils, papers, notebooks and folders.  We encourage you to bring a personal laptop since there are a limited number of public computers available.  Cell phone photography of documents and books is also allowed.

Library & Archives News:

Dec 2020 – Guides to World War I and II Collections 

For searchable guides on World War I and II collections in the History Center Library & Archives, see the Military Research page of this website.

The York Dispatch is now digital!

Through a partnership with Gannet and, The York Dispatch newspaper is available digitally at the York County History Center.  Visitors will now be able to keyword search the newspaper, spanning 1876 through 2012, on their own device or on the History Center’s public computers.

The York Gazette and York Daily Record are now digital!

The wait is over! Through a partnership with Gannet and, the York Gazette and Daily Record newspapers are available digitally at the York County History Center.  Visitors to the library will now be able to keyword search York newspapers spanning 1815 through 2009 for the first time.

African American Collections

There is a new regularly-updated guide to African American collections at the History Center on this website.  See Special Collections and Finding Aids.

2018 was the last year for the Book Blast book sale.  Thank you for supporting this fundraiser over the years!


In our Reading Room, we offer extensive collections of family genealogies; books on local, state and regional history, with a focus on York County history; York City and County directories; York County high school yearbooks; historical atlases and maps; and local and regional periodicals and newsletters covering a wide range of topics. The York County History Center’s Library & Archives is also one of the only repositories in Pennsylvania that offers the two major York newspapers and their predecessors on microfilm. For more information about the York County History Center’s holdings, please see our list of the Library & Archives Resources.

All library users, whether members or not, have on-site access to the Library Edition of Included with this subscription is Fold3 and Edition. Fold3 provides access to US military records and edition provides access to the growing number of digitized newspapers, which now include portions of the Delta Herald and the Gazette & Daily (now known as the York Daily Record).

We annually host visitors from all 50 states across the country, as well as several other countries. Visitors receive assistance in using the collection from well-trained staff and volunteers.



Visiting the library

Admissions, daily rates, and hours

Patrons are encouraged to visit and make use of the Library & Archives resources in genealogy, local history and other historical topics.  For more about our Research by mail service, please follow the link below.

Get Directions
  • Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 - 4:00
  • Reservation Required
  • Sunday – Monday Closed
Admission Rates
  • Non-Members: $8.00/day $4.00 1/2 day
  • Members: Free
  • York County K-12 Students: Free
  • York College & Penn State York Students (with ID): Free

Our Collections

The Library & Archives is located on the first floor rear of The Historical Society Museum at 250 East Market Street, York, Pennsylvania. These materials are accessible to the public through various catalogs and indexes located in the reference area. Trained volunteers, with the support of Library staff, are available to assist patrons in using the collection.

For more information about making a donation to the Library & Archives, please contact Nicole Smith at 717-848-1587 x225 or  Digital donations can be made here.

We encourage you to visit the History Center to further your genealogical and local history research. For those unable to do so, we provide several research opportunities that can be ordered online or by mail for a modest fee, payable in advance and non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the search.