For those individuals who cannot personally visit the Bishop Memorial Library & Archives, research services are available. An initial $25.00 fee ($20.00 for members), plus postage, is required to cover up to one hour of research, regardless of results. This fee includes up to eight photocopies. Additional copies are $0.25 per page. Due to the heavy volume of requests we receive, please allow at least 6 to 8 weeks for response to your request. Research requests must be received in writing (by email or mail) and payment must be received before research is started. Checks or money orders can be mailed with the request, or you can pay by credit card using the form on our website.
Requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Appropriate forms can be filled in and emailed from this site; a letter explaining your request can be sent instead if you cannot email the forms. When placing a request, please include as much information as possible that will assist our staff in expediting the search, including resources/records already searched/found. Please feel free to contact the Library staff in advance with any questions you may have.
Research is performed within the resources we hold; we do not perform online research or research at other sites, including churches, cemeteries, other libraries, etc., other than obituary retrieval from the public library and some document retrieval from the Court House, as explained below. We also cannot handle extensive requests, i.e. researching an entire family line, or tracing deeds for the entire history of a building or house. If you have any questions about how much time your research might take, or whether or not we have the records you are looking for, please call our Librarian at 570-823-6244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vital Record Document Orders
This pertains only to copies of Luzerne County Court House records that we hold on microfilm (descriptions below). The fee for this service is $20.00 per name/document, plus postage. Please submit your request on the Document Order Form, which can be filled in and emailed from this site. The Society staff will search for and make the necessary photocopies for the following:
First name, last name, and middle name of individual must be provided with request. Transcribed copies of wills are available for the period 1787 through 1896.
First name, last name, and middle name of individual must be provided with request, along with the year of birth. Only births that were registered for the period 1893 through 1905 are available.
See Document Order Form or Resources page for more information
First name, last name, and middle name of individual must be provided with request, along with the year of death. Only deaths that were registered for the period 1893 through 1905 are available.
First name, last name, and middle name of individual must be provided with request, along with the year of marriage. Only marriages that were registered for the period 1885 through 1950 are available at our Library.
We can also perform limited record retrieval from the Recorder of Deeds, Register of Wills and Prothonotary’s Offices at the Luzerne County Court House. The fee for retrieving a record is $35 per location. If more than one record is requested per single location, the fee is $35 for the first record and $25 for subsequent records. Please send a written request for what you are looking for along with the appropriate fee to Librarian, Luzerne County Historical Society, 49 South Franklin Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701.
Obituary or other Newspaper Article Requests
You can also request the Luzerne County Historical Society search newspaper holdings for the obituary of an individual, or any other general newspaper article. The fee for this service is $20.00 per search (one hour). Please submit your obituary request on the Obituary Order Form, which can be filled in and emailed from this site; general newspaper articles can be submitted with the Historical Research Form, or by letter explaining what you are searching for.
Newspapers Available for Research
We have Luzerne County newspapers on microfilm with dates ranging from the early 1800s up until approximately 1949. All newspaper holdings will be searched within the appropriate time frame for whatever you are requesting, unless you have a request for a specific newspaper. We offer free access to our newspapers via newspapers.com when you visit in person and bring your laptop or tablet.
Newspapers from 1950 into the 2000s can be found on microfilm at the local public library, which we can also search for you.