| Pennsylvania State Archives
Address: 300 North Street (mail to: 350 North Street)
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: (717) 783-3281
Fax: (717) 787-4822
- Wednesday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m (no original records pulled from 12.00-1.00pm)
- Saturday ( microfilm use only ), 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
- Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and state holidays.
Directions, and Public Transportation
- Enter from the corner of Third Street and Forster Street. A set of three metal gates facing Third Street marks the entrance to the State Archives. Enter the center gate and proceed through the courtyard to the entrance.
- Driving directions from I-83; U.S. Rt. 11/15; I-81; and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
- Public transportation: Any CAT bus to downtown goes within a few blocks of the Archives.
Internet sites and databases:
- The Pennsylvania State Archives resources, programs, mission, genealogy, land records, finding aids, and research topics.
- Finding Aids for Collections record groups, manuscript groups, popular research topics.
- Genealogy Research at the Pennsylvania State Archives websites, research topics, FAQs, collections and services.
In addition to state government records, this huge archives collection has the primary sources for the published series Pennsylvania Archives. The series extracted records such as vital births, marriages, and deaths, military records, naturalization, prisoners, land records, censuses, and ships passenger arrival lists 1728-1808. They also have access to important Internet databases, and provide research finding aids for their collections. They have microfilm copies of county and municipal records from around the state, as well as unfilmed transcripts from many historical societies and courthouses. Many military records have been digitized and are available via ARIAS. Also look for state land records, African Americans, indentured servants, women's history, maps, photos, oral histories, canals and railroads, mining records and mining accidents in this archives.
- Visitors using original records in the Manuscript Reading Room are asked to fill-in a registration form and show a photo ID with a current address as proof of identification before beginning research.
- Visitors using microfilm records in the Microfilm Reading Room are simply asked to sign the register when entering and leaving for the day.
- A Collections guide available for Record Groups, Manuscript Groups, and Historic Site Collections.
- Land Records guide: online records, land office records, applications, warrants, surveys, returns, patents, land purchased before 1733, after 1733, special indexes, maps, and tract maps.
- Baumann, Roland M., and Whipkey, Harry E. Guide to the microfilm of the records of Pennsylvania's Revolutionary governments, 1775-1790. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1978. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL book 974.8 N23g.
- Fortna, Nancy L.P. Guide to county and municipal records on microfilm in the Pennsylvania State Archives. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1982. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL book 974.8 A1 no. 613.
- Pennsylvania. Provincial Council, 1682-1776. Guide to the microfilm of the records of the Provincial Council, 1682-1776, in the Pennsylvania State Archives. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1966. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL book 974.8 N23p.
- Suran, Frank M. Guide to the Record Groups in the Pennsylvania State Archives. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, c1980. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL book 974.818/H1 J53s.
- Whipkey, Harry E. Guide to the manuscript groups in the Pennsylvania State Archives. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1976. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL book 974.818/H1 J53w.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Pennsylvania State Archives, 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.
- 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.
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has early Quakers, Germans, Scots-Irish and other ethinc groups in PA, NJ, DE, and states east of the Mississippi River, Balch Institute passenger arrival lists, huge manuscript collection including many indexes, and Philadelphia neighborhood records.
- Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, Harrisburg, birth and death records 1906-present. Order in-person, order online through VitalChek, or order births by mail, or order deaths by mail.
- Register of Wills and and Clerk of the Orphans' Court, Harrisburg, marriages 1887-present, births and deaths 1893-1906, wills 1785-present, guardians, adoptions.
- Prothonotary Office, Harrisburg, divorces, and changes of names.
- Recorder of Deeds, Harrisburg, deeds, and mortgages.
- U.S. District Court Clerk, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, court records.
- Camp Curtin Historical Society preserves Civil War history around Harrisburg.
- Capital Area Genealogical Society, surname registry, cemetery database, library, lookups, queries.
- Historical Society of Dauphin County Archives has photos, letters, diaries, deeds, certificates, maps, and newspapers. Library has church records, newspaper clippings, family folders, births and deaths 1893-1906, cemeteries, wills 1785-1827, court extracts 1785-1817, city directories 1839-1999.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Cumberland, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder, and York.
- 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. 
- 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.
- German Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, church history, genealogy, immigrants, immigrant aid records, German newspapers, old GSP memberships, and German-American periodicals.
- 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.
- 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).
- Swarthmore College Friends Hisorical 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.
- Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, colonial and state records from 1634, county probate, land, and court records, church records, newspapers, 130 card indexes to deeds and early settlers.
- Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, good genealogies, local history, early Ohio records, Inland Waterways Library, Ohio River (and tributaries) boat traffic from Pittsburgh to Louisville.
- Library of Virginia, Richmond, has historical maps, land patents and grants, Dunmore's War, and Blandford Cemetery Survey, government publications, newspapers from 1736, state records, manuscripts, archival records, rare books, prints and photographs.
- Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, county records, militia lists, bounty lands, tax lists, genealogies, newspapers, Bibles, and index to 10 million documents about Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
- 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.
- West Virginia Archives and History Division, Charleston, manuscripts, biographies, county histories, and tax records, family folders, birth, marriages, deaths, maps, naturalizations, newspapers, periodicals, photos, directories, and county court records.
- Archives of Ontario, Toronto, births, marriages, deaths, wills, land, naturalizations, passenger lists, maps, cemeteries, church, court, military, hospital, schools, city directories, and voters’ lists.
- ↑ The Pennsylvania State Archives in Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (accessed 30 December 2013).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hours, Directions, Visitor Procedures and Fees at the Pennsylvania State Archives in Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (accessed 30 December 2013).
- ↑ Routes and Schedules in Capital Area Transit (accessed 30 December 2013).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 97.
- ↑ Research Topics at the Pennsylvania State Archives in Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (accessed 30 December 2013).
- ↑ Family History at the National Archives in Philadelphia in National Archives (accessed 20 December 2013).
- ↑ Genealogy and Local History in Pennsylvania Department of Education (accessed 27 December 2013).
- ↑ William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 95. At various libraries (WorldCat). FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
- ↑ Birth and Death Certificates in Pennsylvania Department of Health (accessed 27 December 2013).
- ↑ Clerk of the Orphans' Court in Dauphin County (accessed 29 December 2013).
- ↑ Prothonotory in Dauphin County (accessed 29 December 2013).
- ↑ Recorder of Deeds in Dauphin County (accessed 29 December 2013).
- ↑ Welcome in United States District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania (accessed 29 December 2013).
- ↑ Home in Camp Curtin Historical Society (accessed 29 Decemer 2013).
- ↑ Home in Capital Area Genealogical Society (accessed 29 December 2013).
- ↑ Archives in The Dauphin County Historical Society (accessed 30 December 2013).
- ↑ Alexander Family Library in The Dauphin County Historical Society (accessed 30 December 2013).
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Dollarhide and Bremer, 95.
- ↑ Genealogy 101 in Free Library of Philadelphia (accessed 27 December 2013).
- ↑ Genealogical Resources at the Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library in The German Society of Pennsylvania (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ Resources in Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ Genealogy Resources/Church Records in Franklin and Marshall College Library (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ About the Quaker Collection in Haverford Libraries (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ The JGSGP Library in Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ Genealogy Resources in Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ The Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia in The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ Genealogy and Family History Research at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Presbyterian Historical Society (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ Friends Historical Library in Swarthmore College (accessed 24 December 2013).
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 27.
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 55.
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 89.
- ↑ Using the Collections at Library of Virginia (accessed October 2012).
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Dollarhide and Bremer, 113.
- ↑ Dollarhide and Bremer, 117.
- ↑ West Virginia Archives and History in West Virginia Division of Culture and History (accessed 21 December 2013).
- ↑ Records in Ontario Ministry of Government Services (accessed 29 December 2013).