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Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia

The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, established in 1812, is the oldest natural sciences research institution in the Americas. It is recognized internationally for its vast collections, research, exhibits, and educational programs. The Academy's collection of over 17 million cataloged natural history specimens and artifacts is among the ten largest in the United States. The Academy Archives, a collection of one-of-a-kind documents, tells the story of the Academy from its founding through its nearly two centuries of existence: a story written originally by quill pen and now in bytes and bits. The Archives contain a vast array of unique manuscripts, art, artifacts, film, photos, field notes, illustrations, and memorabilia. They reflect the Academy's long tenure as one of the finest natural history museums in the world, and certainly the oldest in the Americas. The collection is comprised not only of administrative records and official Academy documents, but also an abundance of scientific and personal unpublished materials contributed by research scientists and others associated with the Academy. (Photograph at left by Will Klein).
An expanded list of Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia Archives finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

Bryn Mawr College Special Collections

The Bryn Mawr College Special Collections includes rare books, manuscripts, the college archives, works of art on paper, and ethnographic and archaeological objects. The rare book collection contains approximately 50,000 volumes, and includes extensive collections of late medieval and early modern works, among them more than 100 medieval manuscript volumes and more than 1000 15th century printed books. In addition, there are strong collections on the history of women, European interaction with Asia, Africa and the Americas, and British and American literature.
The manuscript collections are particularly strong in women's history, including the papers of Bryn Mawr president and early woman's rights activist M. Carey Thomas; papers of many prominent women associated with Bryn Mawr, including poet Marianne Moore, New Yorker editor Katharine Sergeant White, artist Anne Truitt, and archaeologists Lucy Shoe Meritt and Dorothy Burr Thompson; and extensive collections of letters and diaries written by Bryn Mawr students from the time of its founding in the 1880s. These collections are supported by a graphics collection ranging from the 15th century to the present, including 7,300 prints, 3,500 drawings, and 13,000 vintage photographs.
An expanded list of Bryn Mawr Special Collections finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Chester County Historical Society

Chester County Historical Society and Chester County Archives

Chester County Historical Society Library: Since its founding in 1893, the Chester County Historical Society Library has collected materials documenting the diversity of the county from the 1680s to the present. The library houses collections of printed volumes (25,000), and manuscripts (500,000) including letters, diaries, and other personal papers, business and organization records, land and legal documents, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, audiovisual material and genealogical material related to the history of the county and surrounding areas. For questions about the library and its holdings, please contact
Chester County Historical Society Photo Archives: The Photo Archives holdings include over 80,000 historic images from the 1840s onward and documents the people, landscape, businesses, organizations and events in the southeastern Pennsylvania region. The photo collection is accessible by visiting the library reading room during open hours. For questions about the photo archives, please contact
Chester County Archives: Located in the Chester County Government Services Center (601 Westtown Road, Suite 080, West Chester, PA 19380), the Chester County Archives is administered by the Chester County Historical Society in cooperation with the County of Chester. Established in 1982, the Archives is committed to preserving and making available the historic government records of Chester County. Holdings include estate files, vital records (births, deaths and marriages), deeds, taxes and many other historically significant county records. To learn more about their holdings and to search their online indexes, please visit
City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, City Archives

City of Philadelphia, Department of Records, City Archives

The City Archives is the official historical memory of the City of Philadelphia. Within its 20,000 cubic feet of holdings may be found records that appeal to a very wide spectrum of interests.
In addition to providing reference to various City departments, the City Archives has been a resource for graduate and undergraduate students and persons preparing doctoral dissertations and scholarly publications. Its holdings have been of especial interest to social historians. For persons doing research on the City's under classes, records of the Alms House and its successor, Philadelphia General Hospital, 1751 to late 1940s; of the County Prisons 1790 to 1948, and of the City and County criminal courts, 1750s to 1874, are especially fertile fields for research. Records of county taxes, 1773 to 1851, may be used for determining the economic and class structure of the City and its surrounding districts, townships and boroughs. Tax records and land records are valuable sources for research on capital accumulation. Records of the City surveyors, road records of the Court of Quarter Sessions, and records of the City Council's Watering Committee and of the City's Water Department are invaluable for tracing the development of the City's infrastructure. Minutes and files of the Board of Health and Health Department record efforts to control disease in an urban setting. The records of the City Planning Commission and of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, show the City's efforts to control urban blight while the records of the Department of Public Welfare (now Human Services) show the City's efforts to deal with the human consequences of urban blight.
The City Archives is also a magnet for genealogical researchers. In fact, the most frequent users of the City Archives are patrons who are interested in their family history or who are professional genealogists doing research for others. The City Archives holds the earliest and longest continuous run of birth and death records of any political subdivision in the Commonwealth. Registrations of birth and death records begin on July 1, 1860 and continue to June 30, 1915. However, there are also a cubic foot of late registrations filed under an 1867 supplement to the vital statistics act which include births dating back to 1829; and an earlier form of death record known as a cemetery return which dates from 1806 to June 30, 1860. The City Archives holds marriage records from July 1, 1860 to December 31, 1885 for which we issue certificates, and copies of marriages from the Orphans Court Division that date from 1886 to 1915. It also holds naturalizations of the City and County Courts for the periods 1794 to 1904 and 1914 to 1930. Other records which would be of interest to genealogical researchers include Police roster and roll books for the period 1854 to 1925; deeds of Philadelphia County, 1683 to 1952; mortgages of Philadelphia County, 1736 to 1963; city directories, 1785 to 1930 and 1935 to 1936; Department of Personnel, roster cards; and records of Blockley Almshouse and the County prisons.
A sampling of the Archives' more than two million photographs may be searched online from the City's award winning site,
Drexel University, Archives & Special Collections

Drexel University, Archives & Special Collections

The Drexel University Archives & Special Collections acquires, preserves and makes available records, manuscripts, visual materials and publications related to the history of Drexel University. The Archives has material related to Drexel's founders as well as Drexel students, faculty, academic departments, administrative offices, and campus organizations. The Special Collections house rare books and manuscript collections, with a focus on incunabula; the history of printing and fine press; the history of Philadelphia; the Drexel family; and the history of education.
An expanded list of Drexel University Archives & Special Collections' finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Drexel University, College of Medicine, Legacy Center

Drexel University, College of Medicine, Legacy Center

The Legacy Center is the repository for records documenting the history of the College and its predecessor institutions, including Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University. The Special Collections on Women in Medicine and Homeopathy emerged from these institutions' unique and original missions to educate women physicians and to teach homeopathy. The histories of women in medicine and women's health (internationally) and of homeopathy (internationally) are represented through textual and visual materials documenting individuals, institutions and organizations. The collection consists of over 4,000 linear feet of materials dating from 1502 to the present, with the bulk of the materials ranging from 1848-1990.
An expanded list of the Legacy Center finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Free Library of Philadelphia

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia was founded in 1891 as the city's first public library system. Its Rare Book Department, among the largest in American public libraries, maintains collections of rare and valuable printed books, manuscripts, and works on paper and parchment from the ancient world through the 20th century. Collections include illuminated manuscripts, Americana, common law, children's literature and illustrations, and Pennsylvania German Fraktur.
The German Society of Pennsylvania's  Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library

German Society of Pennsylvania

The German Society of Pennsylvania's Joseph P. Horner Memorial Library houses more than 70,000 volumes; three-quarters are in German. The library's collections include the historic reading library of the German Society, with rare holdings in German and American history, literature and culture since the 18th century. Other special collections document German-American life in the United States since 1683, including books, pamphlets, archival materials, and German-American newspapers and periodicals.
A pdf version of The German Society of Pennsylvania: A Guide to its Book and Manuscript Collections is available at
Hagley Museum and Library

Hagley Museum and Library

Set on 235 acres along the Brandywine in Wilmington, Delaware, Hagley Museum and Library is the site of the gunpowder works founded by E.I. du Pont in 1802. This example of early American industry includes restored mills, a workers' community, and the ancestral home and gardens of the du Pont family.
Hagley Library furthers the historical study of American business, technology, and design. The library's collections include personal papers and business records ranging from eighteenth-century merchants tot he modern telecommunications industry and detail the historical relationship between enterprise and society. It holds the archives of more than a thousand businesses within over 37,000 linear feet of manuscripts, 290,000 published materials, two million audiovisual items, and 320,000 digital items.
An expanded list of Hagley Museum and Library finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Haverford College

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections is responsible for maintaining the College's unique and rare materials. The principle collections include the world-renowned Quaker Collection, College archives, rare books and manuscripts, and fine art. The Quaker Collection consists of some 35,000 printed volumes and 300,000 manuscripts. Holdings span the history of Quakerism from 17th-century Britain to the present day in many parts of the world. Materials include the Jenks Collection of early books and pamphlets, meeting records, organization and family papers, journals and diaries, English and American Quaker serials, audio-visual materials that document the history and operations of Haverford College from its founding in 1833 to present. Rare books cover all fields of knowledge with particular strengths in literature (particularly Shakespeare and the work that influenced him), natural history, science, and American History. Non-Quaker manuscripts include such collections as the Charles Roberts Autograph Letter Collection which is comprised of some 20,000 letters from a wide variety of authors, and the J. Rendel Harris "Oriental" Manuscript Collection of 13th- through 19th-century Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, Syriac, Armenian and Eithiopic scrolls and codices. Finally, we maintain the College's collection of art including 3,000 fine art photographs ranging the history of the genre, hundreds of prints by European, American and Asian artists, numerous oil paintings, sculpture, and Ancient Greek, Middle Eastern, and African artifacts.
An expanded list of Haverford College Special Collections finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

The College of Physicians was founded in 1787 and its library in 1788. Following a period of relative dormancy, the College was revitalized in the mid-nineteenth century, and the Library began an important period of growth around the time of the Civil War. From then until well into the post-World War II period, the College Library was one of the four great medical libraries in the United States and the central medical library of the Delaware Valley. Through gifts, bequests, and dedicated purchase funds, the Library also became a great medical rare book library, and in 1953, a Historical Collections department was established. During the second half of the twentieth century, the world of medical librarianship was transformed throughout the country, as society libraries like the College's declined in importance relative to the rapidly growing academic medical center libraries. Recognizing that the libraries of the regional medical schools had grown significantly and largely replaced the College Library as providers of the current clinical and biomedical literature, in 1996, College governance formally designated the Library as a "Historical Library." The entire Library therefore took on the character of what had been the Historical Collections department.
The Historical Medical Library holds more than 375,000 medical books and journals published through the late twentieth century. More than 400 are incunabula and 12,000 are pre-1801 imprints. There are strong holdings in anatomy, dermatology, neurology, pathology, and ophthalmology, and particularly rich collections on homeopathy, tuberculosis, and yellow fever. Manuscripts include medieval illuminated manuscripts, hundreds of 18th and 19th century student lecture notes, and papers of leaders of American medicine, such as Robley Dunglison, George Bacon Wood, S. Weir Mitchell, Joseph Leidy, and William W. Keen. The records and archives of medical societies, organizations, and institutions, both extinct and extant, local and national, constitute a major resource for the scholar. The archives of the College of Physicians itself are especially important, for the College has addressed a variety of professional and community concerns since its founding. The College Library also maintains a research level collection of current scholarship in history of medicine.
An expanded list of Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania holds approximately 26,500 linear feet of archival collections; some 600,000 books, pamphlets, serials, and microfilm reels; and over 300,000 graphic items. Our collections document the political, commercial, and social history of the colonies and the United States in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the mid-Atlantic states prior to the Civil War; and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia region from the colonial period to the present. HSP cares fro the largest family history and ethnic studies collections in the mid-Atlantic region, bolstered by acquisition of the holdings of the Balch Institute for for ethnic Studies in 2002 and those of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania in 2006. Other collection strengths include the histories of architecture, art, business, community and social service, politics, women, and wars and military service.
An expanded list of Historical Society of Pennsylvania finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives & Library

Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives & Library

The Independence Seaport Museum's J. Welles Henderson Archives & Library is a regional maritime research center, offering resources that document Philadelphia's relationship with its rivers and the greater Delaware River Valley.
The Library houses more than 13,000 volumes, 9,000 ship plans and a significant collection of manuscripts, photographs, maps, charts, and rare books. Collection strengths include naval science and architecture, area shipyards, nautical instrument manufacture, early US Navy, port development, and seamen's welfare and education. The collection spans from the late eighteenth century to the present.
Our holdings are cataloged on OCLC's WorldCat, available via FirstSearch or More detailed information on some archival collections, such as manuscripts and photographs are available on our website.
Hagley Museum and Library

Lehigh University Special Collections

Lehigh University Special Collections serves as the repository for the University's collections of rare books and manuscripts, and for holdings relating to its own history. It encompasses a rare book collection of over 25,000 volumes, with first editions of English and American literature from the 17th to the 19th centuries, strengths in travel and exploration, natural history and ornithology, and works of historical significance in science and technology. Materials relating to the University include documents and publications of the University, papers of faculty members, and memorabilia from the University's history. In addition, Special Collections is the repository for Lehigh theses and dissertations. Holdings in the history of technology concentrate on large scale construction, including a number of classic and seminal works on bridge building and design, and construction with iron and steel. Special Collections also holds manuscripts and personal papers, in addition to papers relating to the University's history.
An expanded list of Lehigh University Special Collections' finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Library Company of Philadelphia

Library Company of Philadelphia

The Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library with collections documenting every aspect of the history and background of American culture from the colonial period to the Civil War. A rare book collection of national importance, its holdings number 500,000 books, 75,000 graphics, and 150,000 manuscripts.
The Library Company was founded by Benjamin Franklin and a group of friends in 1731 as a subscription library. It is the only major colonial American library that survives virtually intact.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the Library Company collected books, newspapers, pamphlets, and prints reflecting all the varied interests of its learned and cosmopolitan clientele. These materials have now been reorganized to form an unparalleled collection of primary research materials. The collection is continually augmented by significant gifts and purchases. The following areas receive particular attention: Afro-Americana; American science, technology, architecture, agriculture, natural history, education, philanthropy, and medicine; German Americana; American Judaica; Philadelphia area history; the history of printing, book collecting, and reading; the women's rights movement; household and family life; and printmaking, mapmaking, and photography in Philadelphia.
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia

The Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia is the Northeast Regional Archives (Region 7) for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It is a part of a network of nine regional archives programs and a national level (church-wide) archives in the ELCA. Our service area is limited to Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Upstate New York (excluding the Metropolitan New York City area) and New England. We carry on the work of our predecessors in the first Lutheran Church organization in America, the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States, founded on August 15, 1748 by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. The archives was recognized as a part of the church organization in 1792.
The Archives has been housed on the campus of the Philadelphia Seminary since 1889 as is located in the undercroft of the new Brossman Learning Center. The Archives collections are now completely contained in a large vault area with compact shelving, now better organized. A reference library room provides books frequently used, as well as space for researchers to work in comfortable surroundings. The Archives office is across the hall. The Seminary has provide the new space for the present and future.
Collections include personal papers of Lutheran clergy, theologians, and church workers; archives of church organizations; and records of congregations.
National Archives, Mid Atlantic Region

National Archives at Philadelphia

The National Archives at Philadelphia is one of 14 Regional programs of the nation's official record keeper, the National Archives and Records Administration. These Regional programs, together with the Presidential Libraries and the Washington, D.C.-based programs, preserve and make accessible the historically significant evidence of America's national experience from the first Continental Congress to modern times. In trust for the American people and open to the public, the National Archives enables every citizen to inspect for themselves the record evidence of the American democracy.
The National Archives at Philadelphia holds over 110 million individual historically significant records, in paper and other media, for over 80 federal agencies and the district courts in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as copies of selected microfilmed records for the entire country. As Philadelphia was the most nation's capital from 1790 through 1800, these regional records are singularly important in understanding the development of the federal government, as the Constitution evolved from parchment into a network of agencies and programs. Court cases are among the richest holdings. Holdings cover institutions such as the Philadelphia Navy Yar, the Merchant Marines, the National Park Service, NASA's Langley Research Center, the DuPont Company Coca Cola, and Good Humor; subjects such as intellectual property (trademarks, copyrights and patents), treason, fugitive slaves, free speech, freedom of assembly, immigration and citizenship, numismatics, domestic and international trade, Civil War, and freedom of religion; and individuals from Patrick Henry, Robert Morris, Robert E. Lee through Thomas Edison, and Thurgood Marshall.
In support of NARA's strategic goal of civic literacy, the National Archives at Philadelphia supports several Teaching American History grant-funded projects, and National History Day.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society McLean Library

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society McLean Library

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a private, non-profit organization, headquartered in downtown Philadelphia. Formed shortly after PHS's founding in 1827, the McLean Library reflects American horticultural trends both historically and currently. It serves the needs of amateur and professional horticulturists, landscape architects, garden historians, and researchers. It is used by the public and by the Society's members and volunteers. The collection supports the horticultural and urban greening activities of the staff.
The Delaware Valley is known as "America's Gateway to Gardens" and has a long tradition of intense interest in gardens and arboreta of every size and kind. The library's Pennsylvania Collection reflects the Mid-Atlantic region's horticultural history. The McLean Library houses a rich collection of Delaware Valley seed and nursery catalogs, 1860-1950. The Mary Helen Wingate Lloyd Collection consists of significant European and American gardening imprints from the 16th to 20th centuries. The Library houses the archives of the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Society, as well as the archives of local gardening concerns such as the Ritttenhouse Flower Market, and local garden club activities. The Library also houses nearly 30,000 images of the Philadelphia Flower Show, pre-World War II estate gardens of the Philadelphia area, and garden and landscape images from around the world, 1930s to 1960s.
Hagley Museum and Library

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC)

Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) was created in 1989 by His Eminence Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua to collect, preserve, and make available to the public the historical sources illuminating the growth of Catholicism in the United States. PAHRC's collection includes records that document the history of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as well as the collections of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, the oldest Catholic historical society in the country. The bulk of materials from the latter collection, specifically printed materials including newspapers, journals, and pamphlets published in the United States, span the mid 19th to the early 20th century. Archdiocesan records include the sacramental registers (baptismal and marriage records) of those parishes located within the present Archdiocese since their founding. PAHRC provides researchers with various services including historical research assistance, genealogical research, an excellent reference library, and photoduplication of approved research materials.
An expanded list of Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center's finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

The mission of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives is to collect, preserve, and make available non-current records of enduring value for the institution. It is the primary source of information relating to the Museum's history, including past exhibitions, activities, events, and interactions with significant figures and organizations in the world of art. The Archives also holds records relating to affiliated organizations both past and present, such as the former 69th Street Branch Museum and the Rodin Museum, as well as several important manuscript collections that relate in some way to the institution's history, including the papers of artists, collectors, and scholars. Appointments to use the archives are required. Finding aids are available for most collections at
Hagley Museum and Library

The Philadelphia University: Paul J. Gutman Library, Special Collections

The Philadelphia University: Paul J. Gutman Library, Special Collections maintains research groups which are housed separately from the library's main book collection. These collections are comprised of items which are noteworthy and demand special consideration. The Textile Historical Collection is comprised of material related to the development of the textile industry in the United States. The Philadelphia Collection supports the research needs of the architectural programs at Philadelphia University. The Senator Arlen Specter Archives contain the historical papers and memorabilia of Arlen Specter. The University Archives are intended for the use of University community. The contents consists of material relating to the history of the school since its founding in 1884.
Presbyterian Historical Society

Presbyterian Historical Society

Organized in 1852, the Presbyterian Historical Society is the oldest denominational archives in the United States and serves as the national archives for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and many predecessor denominations. Its holdings include more than 200,000 titles reflecting the history of the Presbyterian traditions in America. Special holdings include 16th-century works by and about John Calvin and other Reformers, as well as early American imprints and mission-related foreign imprints.
The archival holdings consist of approximately 30,000 cubic feet of official records and personal papers. These include records of congregations, presbyteries, synods, and General Assembly agencies of the current and some predecessor Presbyterian and Reformed denominations in America. These are supplemented by the personal papers of significant Presbyterians, with a particular emphasis on mission history in this country and abroad. The society also serves as the archives for ecumenical organizations including the Federal and National Council of Churches and the American Sunday School Union.
An expanded list of Presbyterian Historical Society finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Rosenbach Museum & Library

Rosenbach Museum & Library

The Rosenbach Museum & Library was founded on collections acquired in the first half of the 20th century by Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach and his brother Philip, preeminent dealers in rare books, manuscripts, and art. Today the Rosenbach is both a museum and a working research library open to all interested researchers. The collections are especially strong in Americana, British and American literature, and book illustration, and include treasures noted for extraordinary significance, rarity, and physical condition. Largest among its collections are the papers of Modernist poet Marianne Moore, illustrator Maurice Sendak, and the Rosenbach Company itself. The brothers' 19th-century town house welcomes visitors into a personal world where great collectors lived among their collections.
An expanded list of Rosenbach Museum & Library finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Rosenbach Museum & Library

Science History Institute

The Science History Institute Archives is part of the Othmer Library of Chemical History. The archives collect, preserve, describe, and make available the unique, unpublished materials that document the past 200 years of our chemical history. Spanning over 6,000 linear shelf feet, these collections are a major attraction for scholars of the modern chemical and molecular sciences. Collections include papers of outstanding scientists, industries, and professional organizations. Collection strengths include the fields of scientific instrumentation, chemical education, materials science, quantum chemistry, and chemical engineering.
More information about the Science History Institute archives and directions on how to search all available archives collections (including many not yet found on this site) are available at this web address:
Temple University, Special Collections Department

Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center

The SCRC is the principal repository Temple University Libraries' rare books, manuscripts, archives, and University records. We collect, preserve, and make accessible primary resources and rare or unique materials, to stimulate, enrich, and support research, teaching, learning, and administration at Temple University. In 2011, Temple University Libraries' Special Collections Research Center took shape, merging the staff and collections of our former Special Collections and Urban Archives departments. The SCRC now includes these collecting areas: Contemporary Culture Collection; Conwellana-Templana (University Archives); Manuscripts and Archives; Paskow Science Fiction Collection (Science Fiction and Fantasy); Philadelphia Dance Collections; Philadelphia Jewish Archives Collections; Printing, Publishing, and Bookselling Collections; Rare Books; and Urban Archives.
Union League of Philadelphia

Union League of Philadelphia

The Union League of Philadelphia library specializes in American Civil War, American and European history, World War I and II, regional history, biographies and early 20th century travel. The library is housed in the historic Union League House in Philadelphia, one of the country's pre-eminent private clubs, founded in 1862 to support Abraham Lincoln, the administration, and the Union cause.
University of Delaware, Special Collections Department

University of Delaware, Special Collections Department

Holdings of the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library includes approximately 200,000 books, serials, and other printed items, nearly 4,500 linear feet of manuscripts, as well as significant collections of historic maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera, and realia from the fifteenth to the twentieth century. The collections complement the Library's general collections with particular strengths in the subject areas of the arts; French, English, Irish, and American literature; history and Delawareana; the history of printing and publishing; horticulture and landscape design; and the history of science and technology. The University of Delaware Archives is separately administered and comprises university records and history of the institution.
An expanded list of University of Delaware Special Collections finding aids and additional archival collections, including many not yet found on this site, is available at this web address:
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts: Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds over 11,000 linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1000 A.D. to the present. The vast majority pertain to modern manuscript collections documenting American literary history, the performing and visual arts in the greater Philadelphia area, the history of science, American history, the history of India under British rule, and modern European history and culture in general. The collection also contains over 2000 Western codices produced before the nineteenth century; nearly 3,000 Indic manuscripts, the largest collection in the Western hemisphere; and approximately 200 items documenting the native languages of Mexico and Central America.
Bibliographic information for cataloged material is available through Penn's online catalog, Franklin. In addition, digital facsimiles for approximately 800 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, can be found at Finding aids for some of the modern manuscript collections are available online through this site.
For more information, contact Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Wagner Free Institute of Science

Wagner Free Institute of Science

The Wagner Free Institute of Science, a National Historic Landmark founded in 1855, is a natural history museum and educational institution dedicated to providing free public education in the sciences. Both the building and the collections, including the Library and Archives, remain largely unaltered since the 1890s and provide an unparalleled vision of late-nineteenth century science, education, and museology. The Library contains some 45,000 monographs and serials on the natural and physical sciences, education, archaeology and anthropology, the pseudosciences, and photography from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. The collection reflects the Institute's curriculum and the research interests of its faculty and staff over its history. The Library also oversees the Archives, which comprises the family, personal and business papers of William Wagner, the Institute's founder, and the Institutional records since its inception. The collections also include maps, prints, photographs, and glass lantern slides that were used to illustrate early course lectures. (Photograph at left by Tom Crane).