A few helpful hints for working in archives, special collections, and libraries:
Consult finding aids for collection descriptions, material types (e.g. correspondence, news clippings), material dates, and a sense of how large the collection is.
Although more sources are available online than ever before, the vast majority of primary source documents have not yet been digitized.
Be aware that most archives, libraries and special collections only offer a portion of their finding aids online. In some cases, you may need to consult a card catalog or a finding aid kept only on-site. Check the archive or collection's website for more details, and feel free to ask their staff members for assistance if needed.
Librarians and archivists are available to answer your questions, so don't hesitate to ask for help if you run into difficulty.
This guide from the Society of American Archivists may be helpful as you plan your research.
Recommended Archives and Collections in the Philadelphia Area
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is one of the largest family history libraries in the nation, has excellent collections on local and regional history, and offers a manuscript collection renowned for its 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century holdings. The Society is now also one of the nation’s leading repositories of ethnic and immigrant studies materials.
For example, a student interested in the experiences of African, Latino, or South Asian immigrants to the US could explore oral history interviews and ephemera in the New Immigrants Initiative collection.
Try a simple search across collections for Puerto Rican AND Philadelphia
Temple University's Urban Archives document the history of the Philadelphia area from the 19th century to the present.
Much of the collection is digitized, however there are photographs, books, atlases and more available for browsing in the collection. Online you can search for photographs, news clippings from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and various reports.
A web presentation of the full content of almost 90 neighborhood planning surveys prepared and published by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission between 1946 and 1990. These reports contain descriptions of current conditions of housing stock; population trends; property turnover; public transportation; community activity.