Bishop Library


In 1971, the Society purchased what was to become the Bishop Memorial Library, through the bequest of Elma C. and Bessie Bishop. The building, designed by architect Willis O. Hale and constructed in 1875, was the former residence of Mrs. Volney Maxwell, and currently houses the Society’s paper collections as well as the Society’s executive offices.

Contact Information

The Bishop Memorial Library, including the Society’s genealogical resources, is located at 49 South Franklin Street in the historic Downtown Wilkes-Barre, the seat of Luzerne County.  You can contact the Bishop Memorial Library by calling (570) 823-6244 . Incoming faxes can be directed to (570) 823-9011.

Hours of Operation

Bishop Library now

Bishop Library now

The Bishop Memorial Library is located at 49 South Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre, directly across from the rear entrance of Boscov’s Department Store.  The Library is open to the public, Tuesday through Friday from Noon to 4:00pm, and Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Closed holiday weekends and for the month of February. Members of the Society can utilize the Library’s resources without charge.  A $5 daily usage fee is required of all non-members.  Photocopies and microfilm copies are available for $0.25 per page.  There are numerous parking meters available along South Franklin Street, and a public parking garage is available across the street from the Library.

Click here for a list of guidelines to help you plan your visit to the Library.

Library Resources

We have a wide variety of library resources available to you here at the Bishop Library.  Click here to view the complete list of resources.


From Interstate 81, take exit 170B, onto the North Cross Valley Expressway (Route 309).  Take exit 3 and make a left onto River Street.  Travel through approximately seven stop lights and turn left onto Northampton Street.  Make first left onto Franklin Street.  The Museum is half-way up the block on the left behind the Osterhout Free Library.  The Bishop Library is half-way up the block on the left next to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  Street parking is available, as well as the parking garage across the street at Boscov’s Department Store.