Westchester County Historical Society


About the Westchester County Historical Society

The Westchester County Historical Society (WCHS) was founded in 1874 as a member-based, not-for-profit organization incorporated by the State of New York to serve the citizens of Westchester County. It is one of the 10 oldest historical societies in the country. Named as the official County Historian in 2006, the Society’s mission is to collect and preserve books, pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, photographs, newspapers, periodicals, film, video and digital materials pertaining to the history of Westchester County, to promote the knowledge and understanding of that history, and to advocate for the preservation of the county’s architectural heritage.

WCHS has the most comprehensive collection of local history and genealogy in the county, and it is housed in a state-of-the art temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. Interesting and important stories await you in our collection of well over 150,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, maps and atlases, and pictures. The digital collection, now comprised of over 40,000 on-line images and other material, is constantly being enlarged.

The Westchester Historian, a quarterly publication of WCHS since 1923, contains thoughtful, well-researched and illustrated articles. It is one of the benefits of WCHS membership.

The Society is located in the Westchester County Archives and Records Center in Elmsford, NY. It shares a reading room with the Westchester County Archives, which holds the historically significant public records of the County, perfectly complementing the private records held by WCHS. All processed items in the Society’s collections, as well as those in the County Archives, are available to the public for research free of charge when you visit our reading room. Copies of most items are available at a nominal charge. Professional staff and trained volunteers are here to assist you. If you are unable to visit us in person, please read about our research services.