Ancestry Library Edition
Visit one of our libraries to explore our newest database, Ancestry Library Edition , which provides the most extensive collection of genealogical information currently available online. You can explore your family’s…
NewspaperArchive Is a Blast From the Past!
NewspaperArchive is an online database of billions (and yes, that’s BILLIONS with a B!) of newspaper articles from Pennsylvania, the U.S. (all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands), and all over the globe…
New Release of the ProQuest Sanborn Maps Database
Sanborn fire insurance maps are available once again through ProQuest’s updated and newly-released database, Sanborn Maps 1867-1970 (formerly known as Sanborn Maps Geo Edition 1867-1970). This database gives you access to…
A Census Story
Updated Wednesday, September 30, 2020 4:45 p.m. The census deadline, originally slated for September 30 after the federal administration moved to an earlier date, has now been extended to October 5 . In 1930, Dorothy Evelyn Hudson…
In addition to offering patrons ever-growing Digital Collections , dozens of research databases , and a rich variety of genealogic resources , the Free Library and the Special Collections Division deliver an exceptional customer…
Who's Your Granddaddy?
It’s been said that "everybody has a past." Would you like to delve into yours? If so, we can help you find links to the unknowns in your life and the life of your family with our newest program "Who’s your…
Remember an Gorta Mór: the Great Famine
Now that the fog has lifted from St. Patrick’s Day, it occurs to us at the Free Library that the holiday is the moment where the fact of an Irish diaspora is felt most strongly in Philadelphia. However, as St. Patrick’s Day…
The Philadelphia Colored Directory of 1910 Recently Scanned and Available for Download in Our Digital Collections
The Philadelphia Colored Directory , a handbook of religious, social, political, professional, business activities of the Negroes of Philadelphia, was compiled by R. (Richard) R. (Robert) Wright, Jr.; assisted by Ernest Smith. This…
The Skies Proclaim the Work of His Hands ~ Carl Friederich Egelmann (1782-1860)
If you have a moment, I’d like to introduce you to Carl Friederich Egelmann, or Charles Frederick Egelmann as he came to be known in America. He was born in Neuenkirchen, Germany on May 12, 1782 and was only 20 when he…
Rejoice My Heart for a New Year Begins
Had Daniel Schumacher (1729-1787) been an ordinary man, we probably would never have heard of him. His bad habits of drinking, swearing, lying, and dancing, amongst others, were not uncommon among the men of his day. …
Explore Your Pennsylvania German Heritage
Did you know that German immigrants started towns in Pennsylvania as early as 1683? If you have German ancestry, you might be able to connect with your Pennsylvania German heritage using the Free Library’s Fraktur Digital…
The Census for Genealogy Researchers
Information for researchers who wish to use the census for genealogy researcher.
Ancestry for Beginners
These books will help you research your family history.
Philadelphia Inquirer Digital Archive 1860-2001
This historical newspaper provides genealogists, researchers and scholars with online, easily-searchable first-hand accounts and unparalleled coverage of the politics, society and events of the time.
Evening Public Ledger
Evening Public Ledger was one of the most widely read dailies in Philadelphia between 1914 and 1942. Read, search, and browse the full text of the paper here.
Ancestry Library Edition
America's Historical Newspapers (formerly Early American Newspapers, Series I 1690-1876)
America's Historical Newspapers features cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. For students and scholars of early America, this…
Access World News
The electronic editions of record for valuable local, regional, and national U.S. newspapers as well as full-text content of key international sources -- all in one easy-to-search database with a world map. Each provides unique coverage…
Walter Isaacson | The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
Pine Tree Foundation Lecture In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award-winning broadcaster and journalist “A renaissance man…driven by a joyful desiredrive to discover” ( The Times of London ), Walter Isaacson is the author of…
Dani Shapiro | Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
In conversation with Beth Kephart , the award-winning author of twenty-four books, including Going Over , Handling the Truth: On the Writing of Memoir , and Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River . Delivering “an…
Alex Wagner | Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging
In conversation with award winning broadcaster and journalist Tracey Matisak. Political commentator Alex Wagner is co-host of Showtime’s The Circus and a contributor to CBS News and The Atlantic . She previously hosted MSNBC’s…
Mary Morris | Gateway to the Moon with Nathaniel Popkin | Everything is Borrowed
“A marvelous storyteller” ( Chicago Tribune ), Mary Morris explores some of her favorite themes—away versus home, childhood memories, and the Midwest—in such works of fiction as A Mother’s Love, House Arrest , and The Jazz Palace . The…
Temple University's Urban Archives
A great source for local history. Among their many resources, they have the old Philadelphia Bulletin fully indexed.
Philadelphia Orphans court
This is the caretaker of Philadelphia orphan information. They also maintain marriage licenses dating back to October 1885.
Philadelphia Department of Records
This department provides access to city records such as property information and police and fire reports.
Philadelphia City Archives
Provides access to city documents dating back to the founding of the city in 1683.
Pennsylvania State Archives
Research center for Pennsylvania history.
Pennsylvania Department of Vital Records
Get access to birth, marriage and death records.
National Archives - Mid-Atlantic Branch
This center provides access to a host of Federal records such as military pension data.
Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
One of the best places in the Philadelphia area for genealogical research.
Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia
Dedicated to Jewish genealogical research.
Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania
Great for local genealogy. Some resources are for subscribers only.
Free Library of Philadelphia Digital Map Collection
A large selection of maps and atlases dating back to 1843.
Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Comprehensive materials for anyone interested in their family history.
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
A wonderful Internet site to start research.
Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Contains Catholic marriage and baptismal registers before the year 1900. Other resources include Catholic newspapers, parish histories and manuscripts published mainly between 1840 and 1910.
This series of guides, web links, book lists, and resources will introduce you to the genealogical resources available through the Free Library of Philadelphia and to other important libraries and archives throughout the Philadelphia…