The Carnegie Center Library in Middlesborough, Kentucky was built ca. 1912. Funding from this project was made possible be the Carnegie Foundation established by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew J. Carnegie.
The Carnegie Center Library remained in operation in Middlesborough through mid-1970s until the establishment of the Bell County Library board, under whose direction a new facility was built.
The Carnegie building was eventually acquired by the City of Middlesborough, after a fire destroyed the decades old City Police Department, the department was relocated in the Carnegie building. It remained there for several years while a new police department was being built.
After the police department moved out the Carnegie building lay fallow for several years. It was at this point the Bell County Historical Society, spearheaded by Jerry Browning, negotiated a proposition with the City of Middlesborough under which the Society was able to lease the building for a county museum.
Under the direction of Browning and others the museum opened its doors in 1998 and has been active since then promoting and preserving the history of the Cumberland Gap area.