The Brooklyn Historical Society dates back to 1863 to preserve and celebrate the rich history of one of America's most important cities. Having outgrown its iconic Brooklyn Heights headquarters, the society now hosts additional exhibitions in a new DUMBO location. Exhibitions at the BHS delve deep into Brooklyn's past, featuring many of its important residents, revisiting the lives and lifestyles of the immigrant populations who built the borough, and exploring Brooklyn's role in major events in America's history. A visit to either location will educate and fascinate and make you fall even more in love with this unique area.

Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true
- Betty Smith

What You Will See

The Society's vast library of books, documents, and maps is on display in the permanent collection, including the earliest urban plans for the city. While the BHS rotates its exhibitions throughout the year, some of its exhibitions are on display for years, blurring the line between permanent and temporary collections. Exhibitions are topical, timely, and revisit periods in history relevant to modern issues facing Brooklynites and the nation. For an even better experience at the BHS, watch the calendar for one of the many lectures, discussions, book-signings, and presentations hosted at one of the society's two locations.

Why You Should Go

America's most important city has no shortage of institutions celebrating its own unique history, and choosing between them is impossible. Instead, visit them all, with the BHS high on the list. While the goals of the Brooklyn Historical Society may keep its focus on just one of the city's five boroughs, there is still seemingly no limit to the depth and variety of stories it can explore, given Brooklyn's unique role in history. New York is not New York without Brooklyn--and, indeed, America is not America without Brooklyn.