National Archives at Philadelphia

14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
215-305-2044 voice
215-305-2052 fax

Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.


Reference Desk: 215.305.2044.

The National Archives at Philadelphia is one of 13 field research centers of the nation's official record keeper, the National Archives and Records Administration.  These field research centers, together with the Presidential Libraries and the Washington, D.C.-based programs, preserve and make accessible the historically significant evidence of America's national experience from the first Continental Congress to modern times. In trust for the American people and open to the public, the National Archives enables every citizen to inspect for themselves the record evidence of the American democracy.

The  National Archives at Philadelphia holds over 110 million individual unique historicaly significant records, in paper and other media, for over 80 federal agencies and the district courts in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as copies of selected microfilmed records for the entire country. As Philadelphia was the nation's capital from 1790 through 1800, these regional records are singularly important in understanding the development of the federal government, as the Constitution evolved from parchment into a network of agencies and programs.  Court cases are among the richest holdings.  Holdings cover institutions such as the Philadelphia Navy Yard, the Merchant Marines, the National Park Service, NASA's Langley Research Center, the DuPont Company, Coca Cola, and Good Humor; subjects such as intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights and patents), treason, fugitive slaves, free speech, freedom of assembly, immigration and citizenship, numismatics, domestic and international trade, Civil War, and freedom of religion; and individuals from Patrick Henry, Robert Morris, Robert E. Lee through Thomas Edison, and Thurgood Marshall.