State Library of Pennsylvania

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State Library of Pennsylvania
Insert building images here.jpg

Contact Information

Bureau of State Library
Forum Building
607 South Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0600
Phone: (717) 783-5950
Fax: (717) 772-8268

Hours and Holidays:

  • Open: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed: Sunday, Monday, Friday, Saturday
    and the following State Holidays:
    • New Years Day
    • Martin Luther King Day
    • President's Day
    • Memorial Day
    • July 4th
    • Labor Day
    • Columbus Day
    • Veterans Day
    • Thanksgiving
    • Christmas Day
    • Inauguration Day of the Pennsylvania governor every four years

Directions, Maps, and Public Transportation:

Directions, maps, parking

  • Map of Capitol Complex (pdf)
  • Directions: See MapQuest or Google Maps. (Be sure to enter the State Library location as Commonwealth Avenue and Walnut Street.)
  • Parking: There are several free visitor spaces on South Drive near the main library entrance. Metered spaces are available on Walnut Street. See the Harrisburg Parking Authority website for parking garages within walking distance.
  • Accessibility: The Library is accessible for individuals with disabilities through the main entrance. Any individuals needing further assistance should contact library staff.

Internet Sites and Databases:

  • You may access the library's holdings through State Library of Pennsylvania On-line Catalog: PILOT. Search by Keyword, title, author, subject, journal title, and call number.
  • Repository catalog online.
  • Repository database.
  • Databases at the State Library of Pennsylvania Genealogy, General Research, History, Culture and Geography, Maps and Statistics, Newspapers.
  • POWER Library. Free databases for Pennsylvania residents that provides access to thousands of full text periodical articles, newspapers, a major encyclopedia, plus photographs, pictures, charts, maps and reference materials for people of all ages.

Collection Description

  • State Library of Pennsylvania Collections Pennsylvania Genealogy Collection; PA Historical Newspapers; PA Native Americans Collection; PA Regimental Histories.
  • The Genealogy and Local History Collection of the State Library of Pennsylvania consists of a wide variety of indexes, genealogies, state and county histories, atlases, land warranty maps, ship lists, and compilations of church and cemetery records, as well as the Pennsylvania Federal Census records on microfilm. Of interest to genealogists and historians alike are such items as the Published Pennsylvania Archives series, the many regimental histories in the collection, research guides for ethnic and minority groups, and guides to genealogical research in foreign countries.
    Although the State Library is not the custodian of any official or unofficial records such as birth, marriage, or death records, we can give you the information you need to search for those records. The collection includes compilations made from other sources, as well as an extensive collection of Pennsylvania newspapers.[1]


  • Materials on genealogy, heraldry, federal population census, and Pennsylvania regimental history cannot be borrowed or used off the premises of the library.[2]
  • For books and other library materials at the State Library of Pennsylvania and beyond check PILOT (Online Library Catalog), EZ-Borrow (consortium of PA and neighboring state libraries), Access Pennsylvania (another consortium of PA libraries) or WorldCat (access to the world, through the Library of Congress).[3]
  • Many states provide their citizens access to union catalogs and/or subscription databases like PA's Access Pennsylvania, EZ-Borrow, and POWER Library. Popular examples include BadgerLink (WI), INFOhio, NOVEL (NY), NJ State Library/Electronic Resources, MEL (MI), and TexShare. For other states search the web for "virtual library" and the name of your state.[4]


Sampling of the Guides available on the page: Adoption, Cemeteries & Obituaries, Census, Ethnic & Religious Ancestry, Immigration/Naturalization, Libraries, Maps & Geographical Information, Military, Pennsylvania History, Railroads & Mines, Researchers List, Societies and Archives, State Library Genealogy Files, Vital Records, Web Sites—General Resources, Pennsylvania City Directories.[5]

Alternate Repositories

{ List (link to a Wiki article for) at least one or more other repositories that collect overlapping records, or similar family history material including central repositories, affiliated or branch repositories, higher level jurisdiction repositories, parent or daughter jurisdiction repositories. Also list neighboring repositories with similar records. Please briefly explain how each substitute repository is related.}

If you cannot visit or find a source at the State Library of Pennsylvania, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • Alternate Repository {create link for each, and give line or two describing collection}

Similar Collections

Neighboring Collections