May 27, 2022

New $10 Million, 65,000 Sq. Ft Philadelphia City Archives Opens

From Hidden City Philadelphia:

Today the Philadelphia City Archives celebrated the opening of their new 65,000-square-foot research center at 548 Spring Garden Street. The vast, indispensable collection of historical, cultural, and administrative municipal records joins Yards Brewery and the recently opened Northern Liberties Target store inside the former Destination Maternity warehouse complex. The new, state-of-the-art facility features a modern repository, a public research room, and an interactive mural, Charting a Path to Resistance, by Philadelphia artist Talia Greene created in partnership with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art Program.

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The Philadelphia City Archives – the contents of some 15,000 boxes of documents, photos, and film – have moved from their previous home in the basement of the old Philadelpiha Bulletin Building in West Philly to a $10 million, state-of-the-art facility in Northern Liberties.


The collection of city records ­– said to be one of the most comprehensive in the country — includes the William Penn City Charter from 1701, documents from the 18th century with the signatures of Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin, the death certificate of Civil War-era scholar and activist Octavius V. Catto, the blueprints to City Hall, and even a photograph of Philadelphia’s first police car.

Before moving to the new 65,000-sq.-ft. facility, the trove had been stored in the football-field-size basement at 3101 Market St. for 20 years.

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Interview with Tracey Williams, Philadelphia’s Deputy Commissioner of Records and Archives (via KYW Radio)

See Also: Philadephia City Archives Online/

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.