Archives: Luzerne County Historical Society, Wilkes-Barre

Back in 2008, I visited the Luzerne County Historical Society in Wilkes-Barre. I spent several days researching in this archive. I also viewed the Account/Day book of Enos Seward that was given to the society back in 1927.

Be advised that they are a very strict society and library and will not allow copying and photography of their holdings, at least that is what was the rules back in 2008.

It has been 10 years since I visited and it is possible that they have remodeled or rearranged the research room and library so what I learned when there does not apply. However, I share this with you so you can get a feel for this archive.

Their website has recently been updated and some of the links are broken, hopefully it will be fixed: https://luzernehistory.org/ 

They did have a flyer explaining their holdings on their old website that was in PDF form 14 pages long. I have a copy but the new website might have a more current one. I advise studying the website when it is properly working for any information that will help you to plan your visit.

Crude map of the society library and research room, 2008

You enter at the bottom left of the map above the double red lines. There is one large room with bookcases all around and to the left is another smaller room with filing cabinets, bookcases. There are tables in both rooms to work on. The receptionist desk is right across from the entrance. You are required to pay a fee and there is not sliding scale as the day goes on. It was $5.00 then and that amount at the end of the day as well.

There is a smaller room with the microfilm reader and that has to be monitored so everyone researching gets an opportunity to use the films.  A great many of the films can be found at the Pennsylvania State Archives, in Harrisburg, PA or the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, CT, especially those involving Westmoreland Twp./County when Connecticut and the Susquehanna Co. were active in the area from 1753 to 1783.  Family Search website may have many of the films available online as well as Ancestry.com might have them.  So I recommend that you do a thorough search before going.

Luzerne Co. Hist. Society

Luzerne County Hist. Society Entrance

Entrance to the library area

First Room & reception

From the first room looking into the second room.

2nd Room, from where I was sitting in the room at the table.

The gray filing cabinets held cemetery files which I found most interesting. They had family surname files as well.

Looking into the Microfilm reading room from 2nd room

Subject files second room.

1st room shelves

1st room shelves

Granted, it was 10 years ago so things may have changed and been rearranged etc.  It is also a small archive with limited hours so plan in advance.

The manuscripts are in boxes and require ordering however here is a PDF of my list of what might be of value for Goss research:  ManuscriptsLuzCoHistSoc.

Published Sept. 1, 2018