|National Archives at Philadelphia
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19154-1096
Hours and holidays: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Closed to the public on Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.
Directions, map, and public transportation: The facility is located on the ground level of the Nix Federal Building. Enter on the Chestnut Street side between 9th and 10th Streets.
- Google map
- Subway: Market-Frankford Line. Exit at 8th Street.
- Bus: Many SEPTA and NJ Transit buses stop in the vicinity. For routes that stop at the main entrance, SEPTA buses #9, #21, #38, and #42 stop at 9th Street and Chestnut.
- Rail: All SEPTA regional rail lines and the New Jersey PATCO line have stations on Market Street between 8th and 11th. Transit contacts:
- SEPTA, Southeastern SEPTA, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority 215-580-7800
- NJ Transit, New Jersey Transit 973-762-5100
- PATCO Speedline Delaware River Port Authority of PA and NJ (DRPA), (856) 772-6900
- Car: There is pay parking in the vicinity.
- From the north: I-95 south to Exit 22 (I-676 West/ Independence Hall/Callowhill St. exit), right on Callowhill St. at bottom of ramp. Left on 6th St. to Walnut St. Right on Walnut to 9th. Right on 9th to Chestnut St.
- From the south: I-95 north to Exit 22. Left at 6th St. and proceed as above.
- From the east: Benjamin Franklin Bridge to 6th St. Proceed as above.
- From the west: I-76 to Exit 344 (I-676 East). I-676 east to 8th St./Chinatown exit. Right on 8th to Walnut. Right on Walnut to 9th. Right on 9th.
Internet sites and databases:
- The National Archives at Philadelphia Home what's new, press releases, events, collection descriptions, FAQs, finding aids, new accessions, forms and services.
- Resources for Genealogists getting started guide, available records, online catalog / databases.
- Access to Archival Databases (AAD) a search engine into some of NARA's holdings of electronic records. Search by person, geographic areas, organizations, or dates.
- Archival Research Catalog (ARC) the online catalog of over 63% of NARA's nationwide holdings. Searches by keywords, by location, organization, person, or topics, and for digitized images.
- Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) American history and government, archival administration, information management, and government documents for archivists, librarians, and the public.
- List of databases Free subscription databases are available such as: Ancestry, Fold3, and ProQuest.
Collects the historically significant records of federal agencies and courts for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, starting in 1789. Also United States federal censuses and indexes 1790-1940, passenger arrival lists for Philadelphia 1800-1945 and Baltimore and other east coast ports, naturalizations 1790-1990, military pension and bounty land warrants, World War I and II draft registration, early federal history, diplomacy, military history, Chinese-Americans, World War II homefront, National Park Service, merchant marine, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, federal tax evasion and smuggling cases, court records including bankruptcy, civil, criminal, and courts of appeal.
- Valid official photo identification, such as driver's license or passport, must be presented to the guard at the door for entry. In addition, visitors and their belongings are subject to being scanned and searched. All belongings are to be stored in a free locker near the entrance. No food is allowed, unless attending a scheduled workshop.
- Online Research Tools and Aids including online catalog, microfilm catalog, AAD, ALIC, Guide to Federal Records, and NARA publications.
- Guide to Archival Holdings at the National Archives at Philadelphia record group level descriptions of archival holdings including agency administrative history.
- Family History Research at the National Archives at Philadelphia available records, records request process, photocopying, family history workshops.
- Federal Records Guide Search NARA's holdings of federal records at a very high level, to identify which record groups may have material about your research topics. Alphabetical index to the Federal Records Guide. Record Groups by topic clusters in the Federal Records Guide.
- Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States including U.S. District Courts, census, customs, immigration and naturalization, public health, and U.S. Marshalls.
- Loretto Dennis Szucs, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1988), 22-24. At various respositories (WorldCat). FHL Book 977 A3sz. Describes each field branch collection, microfilms, services and activities. Each of 150 record groups of the archives is also described.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the National Archives at Philadelphia, 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.
- Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, indexes and original sources of Pennsylvania Archives, such as vital records, military records, naturalization, prisoners, land records, censuses, and ships lists 1728-1808. Also, unfilmed transcripts from many historical societies and courthouses. 
- 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.
- National Personnel Records Center, St. Louis, MO., has millions of military personnel, health, medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services starting with World War I, and federal employee records.
- Library of Congress, Washington, DC, is the world's largest library including 50,000 genealogies, 100,000 local histories, manuscripts, microfilms, maps, newspapers, photographs, books, strong in North American, British Isles, and German sources. The Local History and Genealogy Reading Room has moved to the Main Reading Room, but services remain unchanged.
- Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 450 computers, 3,400 databases, 3.1 million microforms, 4,500 periodicals, 310,000 books of worldwide family and local histories, civil, church, immigration, ethnic, military, and records pertaining to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, Philadelphia, birth and death records 1906-present.
- Philadelphia City Archives births 1860-1915, marriages 1860-1915, divorces before 1914, deaths 1860-1915, naturalizations 1800-1930 (except 1905-1913), deeds, tax lists, prisoners, mayors' warrants, cemeteries, constables, streets and city directories.
- City of Philadelphia, marriage license records 1885-present.
- City of Philadelphia, divorce records 1875-present.
- City of Philadelphia Department of Records, deeds, mortgages, and partnerships; access to process for obtaining archival birth, death and marriage records.
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, has early Quakers, Germans, Scots-Irish and other ethnic 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.
- 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.
- U.S. District Court Clerk, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, court records.
- American Swedish Historical Museum, Philadelphia, Swedish heritage in the Delaware Valley.
- Chestnut Hill Conservancy & Historical Society, images, maps, real estate atlases, deeds, diaries, genealogies, and oral histories of the western-northern most part of Philadelphia.
- German Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, church history, genealogy, immigrants, immigrant aid records, German newspapers, old GSP memberships, and German-American periodicals.
- Germantown Historical Society (Germantown, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill) manuscripts, maps, deeds, business records, newspapers, church and cemetery records, oral histories, and photos.
- 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).
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery; New Jersey: Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester.
- 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 for south PA, NJ, and DE.
- Mennonite Life, Genealogy Resources. Card index to over 800,000 persons, genealogies, local histories, biographies, directories, passenger lists, census, deeds, obituaries, surname files.
- Swarthmore College Friends Historical 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.
- Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives, New Brunswick, New Jersey, town records, manuscripts, letters, diaries, newspapers, photos, biographies, histories, family folders, Bibles, census, cemeteries, genealogical collections.
- New York State Archives, Albany, has manuscripts, vital record indexes, land grants, maps, military, court, alien depositions, prisoners, Erie Canal passenger lists, wills, estates, and state censuses. Colonial, state, county, and town records.
- 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.
- Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, national collections including genealogy and family history, portraits, biographies, censuses, citizenship, ethno-cultural groups, immigration, land records, maps, military, roads, canals, and railroads, settlement, births, marriages, deaths, and divorces.