About the Philadelphia Area Archives Site

Main content

This site, originally known as the PACSCL Finding Aids site, was developed by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries during a consortial processing project. The initial group of finding aids provided on this site result from the two CLIR funded Hidden Collections projects beginning in July 2009. Recognizing that increasing the quantity and scope of finding aids would better serve the research community, PACSCL opened the site to a larger group of repositories.

As a result, this site now hosts a large number of finding aids for smaller institutions in the region prepared through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories, as well as several other regional archives, libraries, and historical societies.

It is important to note that these are not always the only finding aids in existence for participating repositories. Other finding aids may be available via individual repositories.

Created and hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, this union catalog presents finding aids (or guides to the collections) and not facsimiles of manuscripts, images, and other archival material. Unless specifically noted, the holdings described within the guides are physically available in the respective reading rooms of the participating repositories, and not digitally available through the web. Discovery through faceted searching can be limited to a single repository or include all participating repositories. Printer friendly versions of the finding aids are available from this site.

Individual repositories are responsible for their content. If you have a question about a collection, use the contact link on the search results to ask a reference librarian.

Special thanks

The Philadelphia Area Archives redesign of 2022 was completed by Michael Kanning, Carla Galarza, Nikitas Tampakis, Leslie Vallhonrat and Andrew Kimball, with guidance from Holly Mengel. Special thanks to the original creators of the site: the University of Pennsylvania DLA for making this site a reality, and especially: Maureen Callahan, Michelle Chesner, Delphine Khanna, Patty Lynn, Rachelle Nelson, Nancy Shawcross, Jordon Steele, and Leslie Vallhonrat. Special thanks to dedicated regional archivists for continuing to add content and who put their expertise and energies into the task of making Philadelphia's archival material more accessible, as well as the University of Pennsylvania Library Technical Services team who maintain the operation of the site.

CLIR Homepage This site has been made possible through a CLIR Hidden Collections grant.

PACSCL Homepage This site was developed collaboratively with the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL).