Philadelphia Resources

Do you know of a website that would be of interest to Philadelphia researchers?  Email us the link. 

Below are links to websites of interest that pertain to Philadelphia's Resources:

  • HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA (HSP),   This world-class library is the outstanding genealogy and history collection in the Philadelphia area; the library's collection is strong in all areas of genealogical and historical research.  
  • GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA (GSP).  The GSP has a number of online databases for members.  They have a library with several valuable collections.
  • NATIONAL ARCHIVES - MID-ATLANTIC BRANCH (NARA).  NARA's strengths are censuses, military records, passenger and immigration records, federal naturalization records, native American records, federal court records, and federal tax records. NARA has an outstanding reference book and periodical area and has many useful genealogical handouts. 
  • PHILADELPHIA CITY ARCHIVES (PAR). Inventories of PAR holdings are available in the PAR reference area, an area that should be examined in detail because it contains numerous one-of-a-kind indexes not readily available elsewhere. Generally, PAR is the best place to search for Philadelphia birth and death records from 1860 to 1915, marriage records before 1886, deeds prior to 1952, and naturalization records of Philadelphia county courts.
  • FREE LIBRARY OF PHILADELPHIA (FLP). FLP has many items of interest not available elsewhere or, if available elsewhere, more conveniently accessible at FLP. The FLP's strengths are maps, directories, newspapers and newspaper indexes, government documents, hard-to-find ship photographs, ethnic guidebooks, collective biographies, free Internet access, and interlibrary loan. FLP has very detailed genealogy WWW pages that describe their holdings of interest to genealogists. 
  • REGISTER OF WILLS (CHW). Use this office for indexes to wills and administrations. Ask the clerk about the locations of the actual documents.
  • ORPHAN'S COURT (CHO). Use this office for marriages after 1885.
  • COURT OF COMMON PLEAS (CHC), City Hall, Broad and Market St., Room 266, Phila., PA, 19107, (215) 686-6652. Use this office for divorce records from 1875 to the present. It is usually better to call this office before visiting or writing.  Generally speaking, the only things usually available on a divorce record are the names of the parties and the date of the divorce.   For divorce records prior to 1875, call the Philadelphia City Archives.  See above.
  • DEPARTMENT OF RECORDS (CHR). Use this office for deeds after 1951. For deeds prior to 1952, visit the Philadelphia City Archives.
  • DEPARTMENT OF VITAL RECORDS, COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, PHILADELPHIA OFFICE (DVR), 1400 Spring Garden St., Room 1009, Philadelphia, PA, 19130, (215) 560-3054 for a recorded message. Use this office for Philadelphia births and deaths after 1905. To request birth and death information for other PA counties, including Philadelphia, contact the PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF VITAL RECORDS OFFICE in New Castle, PA. 
  • CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS - FAMILY HISTORY CENTER (LDS), 2076 Red Lion Rd, Phila., PA, (215) 673-2770.   The Mormon Church has the largest genealogical collection in the world. The collection includes the International Genealogical Index, Ancestral File, U.S. Social Security Death Index, U.S. Military Index (Korean and Vietnam War dead), and the Family History Library Catalog. Most of their microfilm collection can be borrowed through this branch library. There are numerous other Family History Centers in the Philadelphia Region and throughout the country. Most early Philadelphia birth, marriage, and death information is available via the LDS.
  • U. S. DISTRICT COURT , EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, ATTN: Naturalization Clerk, 601 Market St., Phila., PA 19106-1797, (215) 597-7731. Use this office for 20th century naturalization information.
  • TEMPLE URBAN ARCHIVES.  Especially important for early 20th century Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper clipping files.
  • UNIVERSTITY OF PENNSYLVANIA LIBRARY
  • COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS.
  • CIVIL WAR LIBRARY AND MUSEUM.
  • GERMAN SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA. Much of the material in this collection is in the German Language.
  • AMERICAN SWEDISH HISTORICAL MUSEUM AND FOUNDATION.
  • PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY SONS OF THE REVOLUTION.
  • SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION - PHILADELPHIA CHAPTER.
  • PHILADELPHIA HISTORICAL COMMISSION. For photographs of streets and buildings, especially those no longer in existence because of new construction.
  • JENKINS LAW LIBRARY. For federal, state, and local laws and case reporters.
  • GERMANTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
    THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF GERMANTOWN
    UNIVERSITY CITY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
    WISSINOMING HISTORICAL SOCIETY
    There are numerous other Philadelphia neighborhood history organizations in Philadelphia: Chestnut Hill, Tacony, Frankford, just to name a few. Few have WWW pages.   The best way to find out how to contact these organizations is to inquire at the branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia that serves the area of interest.
  • CEMETERIES IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA
  • PHILADELPHIA AREA CONSORTIUM OF SPECIAL COLLECTION LIBRARIES
  • PHILADELPHIA PASSENGER ARRIVALS

RELIGIOUS REPOSITORIES IN THE PHILADELPHIA AREA

OTHER HELPFUL MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES