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Researching Historical Buildings

A guide to resources for the research of historical properties in Philadelphia and other parts of the United States

Physical Archives in Philadelphia

The following archives hold materials on the history of Philadelphia's built environment. Most of the content is only available onsite, not online. You often need to make an appointment before visiting an archive. See the policies on their websites.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collections

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP), located in Center City Philadelphia, has a rich collection of resources relevant to researching Philadelphia's buildings. The guides below describe the specific collections held by HSP on the topics of architecture, land records, and neighborhoods. You can also view additional HSP subject guides. The majority of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's collections must be viewed on site.