The Historical Society
of Harford County, Inc.

Welcome! The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc. is a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to collect, preserve, present, promote, and interpret the rich and diverse history of the County area, in its regional context, from its prehistoric origins to the present. The Society uses its facilities, library, archives, artifacts, systematic historical research, and creative educational opportunities to ensure that the County’s past are accessible to the public today and in the future. Organized in 1885, the Society welcomes all interested persons to enjoy its many activities, services, and facilities. The Society motto is: "Preserving Our Past For Your Future."

   Hays House Web Site      Save the Aberdeen B&O; Station   


  Harford County Chronology     Booths of Harford County  
  Books and Photo Prints for Sale     County Photographs   
  Havre de Grace Harbor, 1837     Ice Cream Social, 2004  


This site is updated very frequently, sometimes daily. Please adjust the internet settings of your software to get the latest version.

 Photographed in February 1994
, Photographed in February 1994

    For many years the Society moved among a series of temporary sites. Its materials were scattered throughout the county. Finally, in l992 the Society's permanent headquarters became the "Old Post Office" in Bel Air. This lovely, neo-colonial facility is located at l43 North Main Street (at the corner of Main and Gordon Streets). It is the focal point for Society services and activities. Maps & Directions

ADDRESS: The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc., 143 N. Main St., Bel Air, MD 21014; TELEPHONE: (410) 838-7691; . Updated: February 5, 2005, Copyright 1996 - present

PROGRAMS; (Open to public)
     The Society holds regular dinner meetings, lectures, tours, open houses, classes, and other programs on the heritage of Harford County. Please call for reservations, 410-734-6894.

RESEARCH LIBRARY;  (Open Thursdays 9 AM - 3 PM and 4th Saturday of Month from 10 AM - 2 PM)
     The Society possesses an extensive collection of print material on Harford County and Maryland history. All Materials are cataloged, many are indexed, and attendants are happy to help researchers. Maps, microfilm, newspapers vertical file materials, and African-American history files are also part of the collection. A list of some of the the more valuable books available can seen at "Book List". If you are interested in research, but unable to visit our library, click on History, Genealogical, & Cemetery Research Services. $4.00 fee for non-members.

FAMILY HISTORY (GENEALOGY);  (Same hours as the Library)
     The Society is an excellent resource center for family history in Harford County, Maryland and adjacent areas. For details click here: Indices, Files, Family Histories, and Reference Books. If you are a researcher unable to visit our library click on History, Genealogical, & Cemetery Research Services . $4.00 fee for non-members.

COURT RECORDS;  (Open Tuesdays 10 - 12 AM & 1 - 2:30 PM).
     The Society holds many of the early records of Harford County courts. Records begin about 1774 when Harford County came into existence. Cataloging has proceeded up to the 1830s. The materials are being cataloged and indexed by volunteers for use by researchers. $4.00 fee for non-members.

THE ARCHIVES;  (Open Wednesdays 8 AM - 2 PM and 4th Saturday of Month from 10 AM - 2 PM)
     A unique aspect of research materials is the tens of thousands of original source items dating back to the 1668. These include plats, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, ledgers, newspapers, and legal and business correspondence. Over 7000 photographic images complement the collection. All items are preserved in a professional manner and are carefully cataloged and cross-indexed. Skilled attendants are eager to assist researchers. Click for an Overview of Archives Collection. For sample documents click on  Old Licenses or Havre de Grace Harbor, 1837. $4.00 fee for non-members.

EXHIBITS; (Open anytime the Library, Archives, Family History, or Court Records are open)
     The headquarters building contains a series of exhibits reflective of both county history and the Society's varied collections. Most exhibits change on a regular basis. Native American rock carvings are one of the permanent exhibits.

THE HAYS HOUSE MUSEUM;  (Sundays 1 to 4 PM)

Photo of Receiving a Donation
Receiving a Donation
, Photographed in October 2003

     The Hays House Museum is located at 324 Kenmore Avenue, near the Bel Air High School, in Bel Air, Maryland. The initial portion of the house was built in 1788 with an addition in 1814. The house depicts rural gentry life in the county seat from 1788-1825. The house is the oldest house in Bel Air, but it is near but not on its original site.
When you consider visiting Harford History museum you may want to join us on a free admission day. Please note that admission is free for kids under 4 years old , and for members of the Historical Society of Harford County. Otherwise it is $3 adult admission. To learn more about our free admission days and other local museums with free admission visit

Click here to go to Hays House Web Site

     The Harford Historical Bulletin, the Society's illustrated journal, is published four times a year and mailed free to all members. The Newsletter is mailed free to members six times a year. Special publications, and books, are sold at the Society Headquarters. A best selling book has been Christopher Weeks' book titled An Architectural History of Harford Co., Md. ($37.79 members; $41.99 nonmembers). Back issues of Bulletins are sold throught the mail and at the Society Headquarters. Buy Bulletins by mail!     Susquehanna Bridges Bulletin

     The Historical Society of Harford County welcomes individuals, families, and organizations of all backgrounds, ages, and degrees of interest and involvement. The only requisite for membership is a genuine commitment to the county and its people, and the payment of annual dues (a portion of which is tax deductible). The Society encourages all members to become as active as they can. It is run mostly by volunteers. Members get the Bulletin, meeting notices, use of the all Society research collections, admission to the Hays House Museum, Headquarters museum, discounts at Society shops, advanced invitations to all Society dinners, programs, and activities, and the Newsletter free. To get a Membership Application click here.


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