Holiday hours for Independence Day week/weekend:

Saturday July 1st: Library and Museum open normal hours
Sunday July 2nd: Library and Museum closed, Denison House open 1-4pm
Monday July 3rd: Closed
Tuesday July 4th: Library and Museum closed, Denison House open 11:30am-2:30pm
Wednesday July 5th: Library and Museum open normal hours

Newspapers Update

Good news for researchers: has finished with the digitization of our microfilm collection, so all of our newspaper rolls are back at the Library and are all available on! We are also working on being able to offer free access to our digitized content from’s website in our Library in the near future. Watch this space for updates!

“Bring the Giant to its Knees” Held Over!

The Luzerne County Historical Society is proud to announce that its newest exhibit: Bringing the Giant to its Knees”: The History of the Giant’s Despair Hillclimb will be extended until July 15, 2017!. Come and join us as we explore the 110-year history of one of America’s greatest motor races, and revive the echos of names like: Penske, Shelby, Danko, Cheverolet, De Palma, and Koveleski. Join us as we display a fabulous collection of art, pictures, trophies, artifacts, and memorabilia from “The Giant”. The exhibit was to remain up until March, but due to popular demand, has been extended. Be sure to come and check it out!


Check out our “What’s New” page for a schedule of upcoming events, as well as new items in our gift shop.

Information about our upcoming events can also be found on our Facebook page!

Luzerne County Historical Society Membership Form is now available online.
Download and print a copy.

About the Luzerne County Historical Society

First President of LCHS

Edmund Lovell Dana

On February 11, 1858, a group met at the Old Fell Tavern in Wilkes-Barre to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first known successful burning of anthracite coal in an open grate by Judge Jesse Fell.  During the ceremony, General E. L. Dana suggested the founding of a historical society.  A resolution was passed unanimously, and the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society was incorporated in May of 1858.

By 1877, the Society had acquired rooms in the Old Fellows Hall and was able to open its collection to the public on Friday evenings.  It later added a meeting room and library, and memberships and donations increased.

Isaac Smith

Isaac Osterhout

In 1882, Isaac Osterhout directed that space for the Society be included in the free library that was to be established under his will.  The Osterhout Free Library trustees voted to erect a separate building behind the library to house the collections of the Society. The money was appropriated, and the building opened in 1893.

With the acquisition of the Swetland Homestead in 1958 and the Bishop Library in 1971, the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society reached its present stature.

The Society maintains the storehouse for the collective memory of Luzerne County and its environs.  It records and interprets the history, traditions, events, people, and cultures that have directed and molded life within the region.

Our mission is to preserve and promote the collective history and heritage of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.