Join us in celebrating
our first 150 Years!
Upcoming ClosuresThe Othmer Library will be closed for the month of August. For information about the closure and research inquiries during this time, please click here.
Sugar has fueled Brooklyn’s economic growth for over 150 years. Sweet Industries reveals stories of this delicious commodity and its associated businesses with a focus on two companies: Domino Sugar Corporation and Drake’s Bakeries. The exhibit shares the experiences of generations of Brooklynites who dedicated their working lives to satisfying America’s sweet tooth. Sweet Industries was curated by nine Brooklyn teens who participated in “Ex Lab,” BHS’s annual museum studies afterschool program.
In 1814, Robert Fulton launched the first steam ferry between Brooklyn and Manhattan, transforming the relationship between the two places and ushering in a period of enormous growth in Brooklyn. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Fulton’s ferry, BHS has mined its archives to reveal wonderful details of Brooklyn’s ferry history. Materials on display include paintings of the Union Ferry Company fleet, colorful tickets and timetables, and business records from the early days of steam ferry travel.
Also on View: Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom
This major, long-term exhibit explores the lesser-known activists of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement - Brooklynites, black and white - who shaped their community, city, and nation with a revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. The exhibit is part of the groundbreaking In Pursuit of Freedom public history project that features new research on Brooklyn's abolition movement in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center and Irondale Ensemble Project.
To learn more about the exhibition and partner project, please visit the In Pursuit of Freedom website.
Public Program Spotlight: Greg Grandin discussing The Empire of Necessity
BHS Director of Public History Julie Golia sat down with historian Greg Grandin, author of The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World, to unravel the captivating story of a slave ship uprising off the coast of Chile. Click here to watch the entire fascinating conversation.
For more BHS public programs you can watch from home, browse our Vimeo page or follow these links:
Eric Foner and Julie Golia in conversation (here)
The Black Church: Faith and Community Building in Central Brooklyn (here)
Brooklyn on Brooklyn: Pat Kiernan and Jake Dobkin (here)
Professor Victor Goode discusses Loving v. Virginia (here)
Sandy One Year Later: Sharing and Preserving Brooklyn's Stories (here)
Brooklyn on Brooklyn: Isaac Mizrahi and Mark Morris (here)
View our full calendar of upcoming public programs>>
What's New at BHSBrooklyn Waterfront History
Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) and Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) bring to life the history of the waterfront through a unique partnership. The area that is today Brooklyn Bridge Park has been a site of bustling commerce, a transportation terminal, a refuge for immigrants, an artistic and activist center, and much more. To tell these stories, BBP and BHS have collaborated on a series of historical markers throughout the park with an accompanying website that allows visitors to delve deeper, explore thematic tours, and examine some of BHS’s rich historical documents. Browse the website here.
Saturday family programs take a summer break!
It's time for Sing Back, Brooklyn! and Handmade History to take a break for the summer, but be ready to join us in the fall for Saturdays filled with a whole variety of free family programs!
This is BrooklynJoin us to learn about the history of Brooklyn and experience one of New York's great landmark buildings! Every other Sunday at 1pm, enjoy a 1 hour introductory tour of Brooklyn's history in our beautiful building. FREE with museum admission, this tour is perfect for a first time Brooklyn visitor as well as the seasoned Brooklynite who could use a quick history refresher!
Our full summer schedule includes the following dates:
Sunday, June 29th
Sunday, July 13th
Sunday, July 27th
Sunday, August 10th
Sunday, August 24th
Visiting BHSBrooklyn Historical Society is located at 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11201 at the corner of Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights.
Public transportation is recommended due to limited parking.
Map & Directions>>
Closed Monday, Tuesday & major holidays
Gift Shop Hours
Regular hours for Library Research are Wednesday-
Note: the Othmer Library will be CLOSED from Friday, August 1 through Saturday, August 31.
$10 adults; $6 teachers and seniors;
free to members, students with valid
school IDs, and children 12 years
Don’t miss a favorite speaker, or a fabulous evening of film, food, or fun.Sign up for weekly e-newsletters for program information and our popular Photo of the Week.
BHS is proud to be 2014 programming partners with Green-Wood, one of Brooklyn's great historic sites. Learn about their events and tours at www.green-wood.com.
BHS regularly welcomes groups from Big Onion Walking Tours to our building. Big Onion Walking Tours has offered innovative and exciting walks in NYC's historic districts and ethnic neighborhoods since 1991. All guides hold advanced degrees in American History, Art History, or a related field, and they are often researching and writing theses on topics relevant to their tours. More information and a calendar of public tours can be found on their website: www.bigonion.com.