Please Note: the Othmer Library will be closed for the month of August. For information about the closure and research inquiries during this time, please click here.

exterior of building

Join us in celebrating 

our first 150 Years!

Come to one of our public programs...

               visit our fantastic new exhibitions...

                                            and become a member!

What's Happening at BHS

Tales from the VaultUpcoming Public Program:

Tales from the Vault! 19th Century Brooklyn: Snapshots of Change Part 2

Tue, Sept 9, 6:30pm
Reserve tickets>>
BHS archivist John Zarrillo brings to life the diverse cast of characters who have emerged from the records of the Brooklyn Corporation Counsel. Their surprising and at times bizarre stories shed light on the many ways in which Brooklyn has evolved since the 19th century. Learn more on our Public Programs Calendar.

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations
Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (CBBG) is an oral history project and public programming series which builds upon BHS's extensive oral history collections, examines the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families, cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity, and identity in the historically diverse borough of Brooklyn. Explore CBBG's website to learn more about the project, read articles about mixed heritage, listen to already recorded oral histories, and join the community!

Brooklyn 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an accompanying website that allows visitors to delve deeper, explore thematic tours, and examine some of BHS’s rich historical documents.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.

New Exhibitions

Unlocking Two Revolutionary War Maps: The Ratzer Maps at BHS
Unlocking Two Revolutionary War Maps On display are two versions of a map created by Lieutenant Bernard Ratzer, an engineer and surveyor in the British Army. He surveyed New York and its environs between 1766 and 1767 and printed the map in 1770. The larger map is a rare, first state (i.e. first edition) of Ratzer’s Plan of the City of New York. It is 1 of only 4 versions of this map known to exist in the world.  The second is a portion of that same map that was used by Hugh Earl Percy, General in the British Army, during the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. Both are being shown to celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Long Island, as well as BHS’s joint acquisition of the “Lord Percy” map with Green-Wood Cemetery.

Brooklyn Remembered: The Watercolors of James Ryder Van Brunt
Brooklyn RememberedThis exhibit presents thirteen watercolors from BHS’s collection by 19th century Brooklyn native James Ryder Van Brunt. Van Brunt was a descendant of Brooklyn’s earliest settlers and a gifted amateur painter who devoted decades to recording neat and colorful views of Dutch homesteads and historic landmarks.  His images of these picturesque sites, a number of which had already been demolished, reflected the widespread nostalgia for an agrarian past during a period of rapid change as Brooklyn grew from a collection of villages into a city.

Also on View: Brooklyn Abolitionists/In Pursuit of Freedom
In pursuit of Freedom
Photo by John Halpern

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.

This is Brooklyn

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 summer schedule includes the following dates:
Sunday, August 10th
Sunday, August 24th

Shop BHS!

BHS Gift Shop
Our beautiful new Gift Shop has the perfect gift for nearly any occasion! Whether you're looking for an authentic Brooklyn-made souvenir, a housewarming present for a new Brooklynite, or a Brooklyn-themed onesie for the newest member of the family, the BHS Gift Shop has got you covered!

Stop in any day between noon and 5pm for a truly "Brooklyn" shopping experience. 

Visiting BHS

Brooklyn 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>>

map of BHS

Museum Hours

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5pm

Closed Monday, Tuesday & major holidays

Gift Shop Hours

Monday-Sunday, 12-5pm

Library Hours 

Regular hours for Library Research are Wednesday- Saturday, 1-5pm

Note: the Othmer Library will be CLOSED from Friday, August 1 through Saturday, August 31


Suggested contribution:
$10 adults; $6 teachers and seniors;
free to members, students with valid
school IDs, and children 12 years
and under.

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.

Green-Wood partnerBHS is proud to be 2014 programming partners with Green-Wood, one of Brooklyn's great historic sites. Learn about their events and tours at

Big Onion Walking ToursBHS 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: