library and archives

Library & Archives

PLEASE NOTE: In the smaller spaces such as the Library & Archives, Colonial Complex buildings and Fire Museum masks are required by all guests. For vaccinated guests masks are optional in the general areas and gallery spaces. Anyone unvaccinated is still required to wear a mask for the health and safety of our volunteers and staff.  

In order to maintain proper capacity numbers and social distancing, online reservations (for Members and General Public) are recommended 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.

For information on donating to the Library & Archives, please contact Nicole Smith at 717-848-1587 x225.

Online Resources

This website has a number of online resources including Online Research Request ordering, genealogy and property research resources and collections databases.  To access these resources, see EXPLORE on the main menu or click a link below.

Online Research Ordering

Genealogy Resources and South Central Pennsylvania Genealogy Society

Property Research and Hively Land Records books and maps

Library and Partner Programs Schedules – South Central Pennsylvania Genealogy Society, York Civil War Round Table and ALLVETS


Library & Archives News: Update! has uploaded additional newspapers from the History Center archives!

These smaller York County papers will now be keyword searchable and a great research resource.

Stay tuned for announcements of additional uploads to from the York County History Center collection.

Now available on

The Age: 1883-1889

Cartridge Box: 1864-1865

Delta Herald/Delta Herald Times: 1907-1946

Glen Rock Item: 1870-Feb 1871, Sept. 1904-1943

Monthly Friend: Aug 1843, Oct 1844, Oct 1849

Hanover Guardian: Sept. 1818- Jan. 1827

Hanover Gazette: 1810-Feb 1859

Pennsylvania Herald & York General Advertiser: 1789-1798

Pennsylvania Republican/York Republican: March 1830-1853

Peoples’ Advocate: Sept 1849-July 1855

True Democrat: June 1864-1865, June 1866-1872, June 1873-May 1875

Volksberichter ein Yorker: July 1799-July 1801

York County Farmer: Dec. 1831-Jan 1834

York Democratic Press/Semi-Weekly: July 1839-May 1901

York Press/Semi-Weekly Gazette and York Democratic Press: 1903


The York County History Center is now a FamilySearch affiliate research center

This agreement allows members and visitors to the Library & Archives greater access to genealogy resources on the website.  For more information, please visit

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.


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.