Archival Collections

The archive and manuscript collections at Brooklyn Historical Society documents the history of Brooklyn and Long Island from European settlement in the 1600s through to the present day. These materials include personal and family papers; municipal records from the towns and villages that eventually consolidated to become modern Brooklyn; administrative records of businesses, churches, schools, and community organizations; as well as ephemera, architectural drawings, and genealogists’ papers.

Strengths of the archives and manuscripts include family paper collections recording Dutch and English settlement on Long Island; documentation and records of commercial, residential, community and civic development of the emerging metropolis throughout the 19th century; extensive Civil War era holdings documenting Brooklyn residents involvement in the war as soldiers and in relief efforts on the home front; and 20th century materials documenting real estate, land use, urban planning efforts, cycles of neighborhood decline and gentrification, and neighborhood preservation and revitalization activities. We also hold an extensive collection of ephemera and other materials related to Brooklyn icons such as Coney Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Brooklyn Dodgers.