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Mission & History

Our Mission

Located in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) preserves over three centuries of remarkable history. With over one million historic items in its care, ACHS inspires people of all ages to discover the fascinating story of one of America’s most famous communities.

The Adams County Historical Society and Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum are located at 625 Biglerville Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

Our History

The origins of the Adams County Historical Society date to 1888 when a group of prominent citizens, including Attorney David Wills and U.S. Congressman Edward McPherson, formed an organization to promote the preservation of our community's remarkable history. 

In 1940, the successors of this early group secured a charter of incorporation from the State of Pennsylvania, and the newly minted Adams County Historical Society began to collect historic items in the basement of the Adams County Courthouse. Over the next 19 years, this space was converted into a small museum, library, and archives. In 1961, the Society moved its headquarters to Schmucker Hall on the campus of the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Here, for over 50 years, ACHS maintained a research center and local history museum. 

In 2011, ACHS left Schmucker Hall and established a temporary headquarters at the Edmund J. Wolf House on the southern edge of the Seminary campus. Unfortunately, this move resulted in the long-term storage of large portions of the Society's collections at multiple off-site locations. Additionally, the Wolf House did not contain adequate room for exhibits, educational programming, and group visits. It also lacked vital fire safety and climate control for the Society's vast holdings. In 2020, ACHS launched a $12 million capital campaign that resulted in the debt-free construction of a brand new Museum and History Center just north of Gettysburg at 625 Biglerville Road.

On April 15, 2023, ACHS officially opened to the public at its new headquarters. Here, we showcase for the community and millions of visitors an immersive museum experience, Gettysburg Beyond the Battle, a research room and archives, classroom, and spacious event venue. Our collection, numbering in the millions, is now safely preserved for the first time in its history.

ACHS is sustained by the generosity of over 1,600 annual members from across the country. You can learn more about the benefits of becoming a member by clicking here.

© 2024 Adams County Historical Society

Any individual who financially qualifies, based upon level of income, may be granted free admission to the museum. The determination will be made by museum staff based upon that individual’s application for free admission.