The Research Library
The Mercer Museum Library is the major research center for local and family history related to Bucks County and the surrounding region. With its roots in the founding of the Bucks County Historical Society in 1880, the Library houses over 20,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets, 2500 feet of county archives, over 800 manuscript collections, over 12,000 images, and maps and other records that document not only local history, but the life and work of Henry Chapman Mercer and early American technology, culture and folk art.
Research at the Library
Mercer Museum Library Hours:
- Tuesday-Thursday 1-5 pm
- Friday & Saturday 10 am-5 pm
Library Policies and Procedures
Researchers must sign in at the reference desk at the beginning of each visit. Researchers are only permitted to take note-taking material into the Reading Room, which includes laptop computers and/or devices such as Ipads. Scanners, digital cameras and other such devices are not permitted. Cell phone use in the Reading Room is discouraged.
Patrons may help themselves to books shelved in the Reading Room but are asked to leave books on carts to be reshelved by Library staff. Call slips are available to request collection items from closed storage. Call slips must be filled out completely with full name and address. Patrons will be given one folder or collection item at a time.
Photocopies for research purposes can be made of most Library collections. Copies on 8.5 x 11 paper are 40 cents per page; copies on 11 x 17 paper are 50 cents per page. Copies can be produced from microfilm. Library staff reserves the right to refuse photocopying due to age and condition of collection items.
RolloPAC, the online catalog to the Mercer Museum Library. Instituted in 2006, RolloPAC is being updated and added to regularly as collections are cataloged and processed.
Complete indexes now available include all books, bound manuscripts, obituaries from 2000 to the present, the postcard collection, and the Rutherford Photograph collection and over 400 manuscript collections, including the finding-aid to the Henry C. Mercer Papers.
The development of RolloPAC has been supported by generous grants from the Museums for America program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
RolloPAC has also been supported by grants through the Library Services and Technology Act program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In Pennsylvania this program is administered by the Office of Commonwealth Libraries in order to assist statewide libraries in providing users access to information.
Bucks County Archives
The Library is the depository for many Bucks County government records dating from 1683. These records come from the offices of the Court of Quarter Sessions, Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans Court, Prothonotary and the County Commissioners. Special indexes to county collections include the following: naturalization records (1802-1906), criminal papers (1697-1786), quarter sessions (1684-1700), coroners papers (1700-1900), divorces (1806-1948), marriage licenses (1852-1854, 1885-1946), vendues (1784-1884), tavern licenses (1742-1923), deed books and grantor/grantee index (1684-1919), wills and administrations (1684-1900), and mechanics liens (1836-1949). At this time, none of these indexes are available online.
The Mercer Museum Library provides a research by mail service for a fee of $75.00. For this fee, one of our staff will consult up to 10 different sources, and provide you with a bibliography of all sources checked, as well as up to 15 photocopies of relevant material. This fee covers a search on one name only.
If you are interested in this service, please forward a check for $75.00 made out to the Bucks County Historical Society, along with a letter specifically stating your request to the following address:
Mercer Museum Library
84 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Additional research services include:
The Library has indexed the following newspapers for obituaries: The Advance, the Bristol Pilot, the Courier Times, the Doylestown Patriot, New Hope Gazette, the News Herald, the Quakertown Free Press, the Intelligencer, and the Yardley News. Copies of obituaries can be provided directly from either the newspaper or a microfilm copy.
Please provide name of decedent, date of death and/or date of obituary.
Library staff will provide copies of county records, such as wills and deeds, as well as other collection items. The Library retains the right to refuse requests based on current copyright laws.
Please provide full citation, including page number(s) or file numbers, title, author, etc.
Fee: $25.00 for the first 15 pages, $.40 for each additional page.
Ask the Librarian
Questions regarding Library collections and services can be directed to the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographic Rights and Reproductions
Photographic reproductions of the Mercer Museum Library’s collections can be made for personal, scholarly and commercial use. Please contact the Collections Manager for information regarding usage policies, fees and procedures at email@example.com or call 215-345-0210, ext. 119.
Gifts to the Library
The Library welcomes gifts and bequests of documents, books, photographs and other items that fit within the scope of its collections. To offer an item to the Library, to discuss a proposed bequest, or to learn more about the Library's collecting interests, please contact the Collections Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-345-0210, ext. 119.