The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

NUC Symbol: PHi
1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-732-6200 voice
215-732-2680 fax
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 12:30-5:30 (last admittance at 4:45 p.m.)
  • Wednesday 12:30-8:30 (last admittance at 7:45 p.m.)
  • Thursday 12:30-5:30 (last admittance at 4:45 p.m.)
  • Friday 10:00-5:30 (last admittance at 4:45 p.m.)
  • Charles Cullen, Interim President, 215-732-6200, ext. 214,
  • Lee Arnold, Director of the Library and Collections (PACSCL alt. rep), 215-732-6200, ext. 237,
  • David Haugaard, Director of Research Services, 215-732-6200 ext. 219,
  • Jacqueline Taddonio, Director of Cataloging, 215-732-6200, ext. 206,
  • Daniel Rolph, Family Historian & Head of Reference Services, 215-732-6200, ext. 203,
  • Sarah Heim, Research Services Librarian, 215-732-6200, ext. 261,


The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) maintains approximately 560,000 volumes: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are special strengths, but included are primary and secondary source materials for the original thirteen states. The Library holds extensive Philadelphia and Pennsylvania newspapers, 1718-present (hard copy and film); collections of Pennsylvania authors; and Pennsylvania imprints (English, German, and Welsh). Other rare, pre-1820 Americana is housed at The Library Company of Philadelphia. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania also holds twenty million manuscript items, including Penn and Logan family archives; regional family and business papers; extensive autograph collections of American and European notables; 35,000 prints and maps, 1650-1986, especially Delaware Valley region; 20,000 watercolors and drawings, 1700-1900, including Benjamin West, William and Thomas Birch, Augustus Köllner, and David J. Kennedy; 250,000 photographs, 1838-1987, mostly southeastern Pennsylvania; and thousands of broadsides, sheet music, and ephemera.

The collections of The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, which merged with the Historical Society in 2002, complement the Society's holdings on ethnic and immigration material. The Balch built major research collections for a surprisingly large number of individual groups: long runs of African-American, Chinese, Czech, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Lithuanian, Polish, and Slovak newspapers; and significant holdings of Yiddish and Ukrainian literature, along with smaller but noteworthy Swedish and Norwegian collections. Its manuscripts and print sources on Japanese-American relocation during World War II are unique for an east coast repository, and its resources for a number of groups, including Germans, Greeks, Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles, Slovaks, and Welsh are among the best in the country. In addition, it has smaller but important and growing archival collections for many other groups. A few examples include African-Americans, Chinese, Koreans, Lithuanians, Puerto Ricans, Swedes and Ukrainians.

The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP) entered into a Strategic Alliance with the Historical Society in 2006.  All of GSP's collections are now at HSP and the two societies share a members' newsletter (Sidelights) and work cooperatively on joint programming.