About the site

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This Philadelphia Area Archives site, formerly the Philadelphia Area Archives Research Portal (PAARP) and PACSCL Finding Aids Site, provides access to descriptions of more than 5,000 collections from over 200 regional institutions documenting the region's vital role in our collective history, from colonization to the present day, from the everyday citizen to some of America's best known thinkers and celebrated citizens. On this site, researchers will find catalog descriptions, or "finding aids," to collections relating to local, national, and world history; the natural and social sciences; medicine; literature; religion; art and architecture; business and industry; the performing arts; and other topics.

Searchable by creator, topic, repository, and keyword, this diverse and ever-growing group of finding aids is an ideal starting point for researchers to discover related collections across more than 200 regional repositories, large and small.

When describing archival collections, staff at archival repositories make choices about what language to use when describing not just the papers and records, but also the people and organizations who created or who are represented in them, including those from historically marginalized groups. For a variety of reasons, researchers may encounter offensive or harmful language in the finding aids of PACSCL member institutions. For more information, see the Statement on Archival Description and Harmful Language.