| Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Address: 1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 1907-5699
Hours and holidays:
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 12:30p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closed Sundays, Mondays, Saturdays and holidays
Directions and map:
Internet sites and databases:
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania collections, history online, publications, educations, become a member, donate, plan a visit, need research?, for scholars, for genealogists and community historians, for teachers, for historical and heritage organizations, events, and news.
- Discover Online Catalog to HSP's print holdings of books, pamphlets, serials and newspapers, manuscript collections, maps, and microfilms.
- Digital Library 60,000 images of photos, artwork, maps, manuscripts, and archived video records.
- Finding Aids provide background information, descriptions, and inventories for HSP collections.
Includes early Quakers, Germans, Scots-Irish and 60 other ethnic or religious groups, and genealogical material for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and states east of the Mississippi River, Balch Institute passenger arrival lists, a huge manuscript collection (letters, diaries, account books, deeds, minutes, and scrapbooks) including many indexes, and Philadelphia neighborhood records. The HSP is one of the most complete and professional genealogy centers in the nation—and the largest in the Mid-Atlantic region. Its has 600,000 books, 20 million manuscripts, 300,000 images, and nearly 300 years of newspapers. It also covers pre-migration from Europe, the genealogical “stepping stones” across the Caribbean, and out-migration to Canada.
- There is a Library Admission for non-members.
- All first-time visitors to the library must complete a Research Registration Form.
- Photocopy services are available to both on- and off-site researchers for $0.50 a page.
- The use of film or digital still-image cameras is permitted in the library at no additional cost.
- Entry to the library, photocopy service, and paging all end 45 minutes prior to closing time.
- Notice of weather or emergency closings will be posted on the Historical Society's website and on the Society's weather phone line at 215-732-6200 ext. 505.
- Balch Manuscript Guide of 60 ethnic groups: descriptions of their many collections and newspapers.
- Finding Aids about 600 HSP collections with a background, description, or inventory of each.
- Subject Guides to 20th Century Collections, African Americans, Chinese Genealogy, Civil War Manuscripts and Newspapers, Civil War Resources, Ethnic History Resources, Family History and Genealogy, Federal Census Records, Jewish Resources, Land Records, Military Records, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Resources, Philadelphia City Directories, Vital Records, and Women's History.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees.
- National Archives II, College Park, MD, Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and Treasury all after 1900.
- National Archives at Philadelphia records of federal agencies and courts for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, censuses, ships lists, naturalizations, and military records.
- Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, indexes and original sources of Pennsylvania Archives, such as vital records, military records, naturalization, prisoners, land records, censuses, and ships lists 1728-1808. Also, unfilmed transcripts from many historical societies and courthouses. 
- State Library of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, indexes and surname files, histories, atlases, land records, maps, ship lists, church and cemetery records, censuses, regimental histories, ethnic and religious groups, newspapers, obituaries, naturalizations, and city directories.
- National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO., has millions of military personnel, health, medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services starting with World War I, and federal employee records.
- Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Local History and Genealogy Reading Room is part of the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, books, strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources.
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, Mormon records.
- Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, Philadelphia, birth and death records 1906-present. Order in-person, order online through VitalChek, or order births by mail, or order deaths by mail.
- Philadelphia City Archives births 1860-1915, marriages 1860-1915, divorces 1851-1975, deaths 1803-1915, naturalizations 1800-1933 (except 1905-1913), house deeds 1683-1952, tax lists, prisoners, mayors' warrants, cemeteries, constables, streets and city directories. 
- Clerk of the Orphans' Court, Philadelphia, marriages 1885-present.
- Office of the Prothonotary, Philadelphia, divorces 1875-present, and Court of Common Pleas records, Municipal Court records, and Orphans Court records since 1874.
- Register of Wills, Philadelphia, wills 1692-present, and marriages records.
- City of Philadelphia Department of Records deeds 1952-present, mortgages, and partnerships.
- Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has great online indexes to books, periodicals, family folders, genealogies, and research aids for Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
- Library Company of Philadelphia has huge German-American collection, Pennsylvanians in the Civil War, and early Philadelphia documents as if it were a second city archives.
- Free Library of Philadelphia very large book collection, periodicals, genealogies, city directories, maps, family folders, vertical files, manuscripts, and Pennsylvania histories.
- University of Pennsylvania Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, Philadelphia, many manuscripts, newspapers, county records, ethnic sources, denominational records, and county histories.
- Temple University Urban Archives, Philadelphia, churches, fraternal groups, unions, guilds, clubs, businesses, and societies especially related to the growth of Philadelphia and vicinity.
- U.S. District Court Clerk, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, court records.
- American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia, Swedish heritage in the Delaware Valley.
- Chestnut Hill Historical Society, images, maps, real estate atlases, deeds, diaries, genealogies, and oral histories of the western-northern most part of Philadelphia.
- German Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, church history, genealogy, immigrants, immigrant aid records, German newspapers, old GSP memberships, and German-American periodicals.
- Germantown Historical Society (Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill) manuscripts, maps, deeds, business records, newspapers, church and cemetery records, oral histories, and photos.
- Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia ELCA archives for Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Upstate New York (excluding New York City) and New England. Includes clergy and synod papers, and some parish registers (baptisms, marriages, funerals, confirmations) (some in German).
- Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, national archives of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery; New Jersey: Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester.
- Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society (ERHS), Lancaster, Reformed Church records and genealogy resources including parish registers.
- Franklin and Marshall College Library, Lancaster, "Hessian" (German) soldiers in the American Revolution, history, government, Pennsylvania-German culture, U.S. Civil War.
- Haverford College Library, Haverford, Quaker Collection of diaries, photos, family papers, meeting and organizational records; 35,000 books, 2,400 linear feet of manuscripts.
- Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, Melrose Park, Jewish genealogy research manuals, society newsletters, regional cemeteries, and resource guide for south PA, NJ, and DE.
- Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, card index to over 800,000 persons, genealogies, local histories, biographies, directories, passenger lists, census, deeds, obituaries, surname files.
- Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore, has 45,000 books, 60,000 photos, and 9,000 volumes of original Quaker meeting records, plus local history of the Mid-Atlantic states.
- Repositories in other surrounding states: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ontario.
- Historical Society of Delaware Library, Wilmington, colonial records, newspapers, church records, state records, Revolutionary War records, Civil War records, Delaware histories, and genealogies.
- Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, records of Germans and Scots-Irish who traveled the Great Valley Road from Penn. to Virginia, including manuscripts, newspapers, biographies, and histories.
- Archives of Ontario, Toronto, births, marriages, deaths, wills, land, naturalizations, passenger lists, maps, cemeteries, church, court, military, hospital, schools, city directories, and voters’ lists.