Berrien Courthouse Museum
The Midwest’s oldest surviving county government complex
1839 Courthouse - 1830 Log House - 1870 Sheriff’s House
1860/1873 County Records and Office Building
Open All Year - Free Admission
Berrien County Historical Association Archives
Hours By Appointment - Monday - Friday 10am – 5:00pm
Everyone is welcome to access the archives via site visit, letter, telephone and Email. Please call for an appointment if you plan to use materials on site. If you are unable to research your topic, the staff will provide research service for an hourly fee.
The archives includes maps, photographs, Berrien County marriage, death and probate records (pre 1930), books and a variety of primary resources relevant to the history of the region.
Researchers will meet with the BCHA curator to discuss the project and determine what materials from the collection may be of assistance. All patrons will complete a research registration form. The curator will provide requested materials for use on site only. Researchers are asked to handle materials carefully and to use pencil when taking notes. Laptop computers are allowed for research purposes. Materials will not be loaned for use off the premises. Select research materials may not be duplicated.
If you access the materials via letter, telephone, or Internet, the Curator will research your project in the order that requests are received. An hourly rate, minimum of ½ hour, will be charged for this service, payable in advance. If you access the Berrien County Roots index on this site and order copies of documents, you will not be charged a research fee.
The Curator will make all copies. Entire collections, files and extensive personal papers cannot be copied due to copyright restrictions. Copies of other materials may be restricted at the Curator’s discretion, such as those restricted by deposit provision or materials likely to be damaged by duplication.
Researchers cannot photograph, scan or digitize any materials in the collection. Copies are granted as research aids only and do not imply publishing rights.
The user is responsible for securing permission to publish materials in the archives and to adhere to laws on literary property rights and copyright. Note that literary property rights are not conveyed with a copy. Literary property rights state that the writer of an unpublished letter or document has the sole right to publish its contents unless he/she expressly gives up this right. The right descends to his/her legal heirs regardless of the physical ownership of the document. Securing permission from the writer or the heirs is the responsibility of the user. The user is also cautioned that material reproduced in a copy may be protected by copyright. The user assumes all responsibility for infringements of copyright.
Publication based on materials from the Berrien County Historical Association’s archives should be reported and credited to the BCHA. Copies of such publications should be provided for inclusion in the Berrien County Historical Association archives for use by future researchers.
Photographs and maps from the collection should include the credit line: From the Collection of the History Center at Courthouse Square.
BCHA Members Free
Non Members - $5.00 per project
College and University Students - Free
Elementary/Secondary Students - Free
Marriage and death records are $5.00 each, postpaid
Probate court files are $12.00 each, postpaid
Staff Research Service - $20.00 per hour plus copy fees and shipping
Berrien County Records - $10.00 each copy
Photographs 8” x 10” – (In house copy) $10.00
Photocopies - $.25
Postage and Handling - $2.50 and up
PROBATE COURT FILES