Find Collections and Archives
Visit Archives in the Philadelphia Area
The History 91 project offers an excellent opportunity to visit local archives and work with primary sources first-hand. Use the resources listed here to identify archives and collections of interest to you.
You may wish to consult the Society of American Archivist's guide to using archives for more information about what to expect when doing research in archives.
Practical Tips: Visiting Archives & Special Collections
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.
- Before visiting an archives or special collections library, check their hours and contact the staff to let them know you're coming. They'll probably ask you which materials you'd like to use.
- Although more sources are available online than ever before, the vast majority of primary source documents (held by archives and libraries) have not yet been digitized.
- Librarians and archivists are available to answer your questions, so don't hesitate to ask for help if you run into difficulty. Archivists and librarians may know about collections and sources that you haven't heard about before.
- This guide from the Society of American Archivists may be helpful as you plan your research.