The Othmer Library is located at the Center for Brooklyn History at 128 Pierrepont Street. 

CBH is currently closed but researchers can visit the Othmer library on an appointment only basis for the foreseeable future. To contact CBH library staff with research questions, e-mail [email protected] Researchers are encouraged to take advantage of our digital resources by visiting the remote research guide.

This page reflects policies that will be in place upon our reopening.

Making an Appointment 

No appointment is needed to view books, maps, atlases, and our image database. To view archival collections, you must request an appointment at least two days before your visit by emailing [email protected].

Please include the collection name, call number and, if applicable, box numbers. You will receive an email confirmation once you are scheduled.

Several collections are stored offsite and require three weeks notice to use:

Packer Collegiate Institute records (2014.019)
Brooklyn, N.Y., Department of Law, Corporation Counsel records (2013.015)
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church records (2009.011)
Brooklyn, N.Y., Bureau of Sewers records (ARC 235)
Pierrepont family papers (ARC 236)
First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn records (ARC109)

Preparing for Your Visit

Here are some tips to help you prepare for your visit to the Othmer Library:

  • You will be asked to check your coats and bags. We have small lockers ( 17” x 12” x 11”) available, as well as four tall lockers (17” x 12” x 33”).
  • You can use pencils, notepads, laptops, or tablets during your research at CBH.
  • You must leave pens, food, drink, and gum in your checked bag.
  • It is cold in our library, so bring an extra layer to keep warm!
  • Free Wi-Fi is available. There are a limited number of electrical outlets in our historic reading room.

Cameras in the Reading Room

CBH allows photography of collection materials for research purposes. CBH also allows visitors to photograph the reading room.

  • Hand-held, still photography cameras and cell phone cameras only.
  • Flash is not permitted.
  • Tripods, chairs, stools, ladders, or similar devices are not permitted.
  • Manuscripts, maps, broadsides, and other single sheets must be kept flat on the table while being photographed.
  • Books, bound manuscripts, and other bound materials must be photographed while in a cradle.
  • Please respect the privacy of other researchers and visitors, and do not include them in your photographs.


Under limited circumstances, library staff will provide on-site photocopies of materials for researchers.

  • Staff will assess whether or not photocopying will damage the materials in question. We reserve the right to refuse to photocopy certain collections.
  • Photocopies cost fifty cents per page.
  • Large orders may not be fulfilled the same day they are requested.