Local History

Bethlehem Area Public Library is a great place to learn more about the rich and diverse history of our city, region and people. BAPL’s Local History pages provide convenient online access to historical content from a variety of sources:

The WWII Article Index includes local news article extracts pertaining to WWII personnel from the pages of the Bethlehem Globe-Times.

Research the story of your home with some investigation time in our Bethlehem Room. Find out when it was built, who lived there in the past and if your house is historically significant. Jump-start your research by downloading this PDF House Research Guide prepared by Bethlehem’s North by Northwest Neighborhood Initiative.

Local History Timeline

Local Newspaper Archives (including obituaries)

The Bethlehem Room

An invaluable resource for those interested in the rich history of our city, region and people, the Bethlehem Room at the central branch of Bethlehem Area Public Library offers visitors onsite access to non-circulating books, journals, pamphlets, directories, clippings, photographs, maps and other research materials housed in our local history collections.

Featured Collections

Records of the Greater Bethlehem Area Council of Churches, 1956-2005
Reports, minutes, financial accounts, newsletters, publications, subject files, and clippings document the organization from its founding in 1956 to its dissolution in 2005.

Papers and Artwork of Christian Friedrich Hellener include materials relating to the history of the Hellener and Morey families, but perhaps more significantly include a fascinating collection of watercolors done by Mr. Hellener throughout the 19th century.

Bethlehem Room Hours
Monday through Wednesday, 10 am to 8 pm
Thursday and Friday, 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm

More Collections

For more complete information on library holdings, search our on-line catalog.