How can you find historical records?
Students, historians, genealogists and other researchers can search over 12,000 collections from over 200 regional libraries and archives through the Philadelphia Area Archives portal, which is generously hosted by the University of Pennsylvania.
Collections are described with documents called “finding aids” which describe the history of a collection and the arrangement of material. You can search finding aids by creator/author, topic, repository, and keyword.
Please note that these finding aids represent the work of staff from the repositories represented here over a long period of time. While there have been changes in standards and practice within the profession on archival description, users may come across harmful or offensive language about individuals and groups who created or are represented in historical records. Please see our Statement on Archival Description and Harmful Language for more information.
Click here to find all the member institutions within PACSCL. Contact information is given for each member representative, who you can contact if you want to learn more about their collections.
Digital Libraries & Exhibits
With generous support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the William Penn Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Council on Library and Information Resources, the Delmas Foundation, and other foundations and corporations, PACSCL member institutions have worked together to create collections of primary sources – a first-hand or contemporary account of an event or topic – that can be freely accessed for any educational purpose.
Each project presents sources in different ways. You are welcome to explore, to learn, and to share!