Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
This guide is intended for students in Urban Studies 210 who are researching small areas within Philadelphia. Census Manuscript details the process of locating census schedules by address. Data and Documents lists ways to access Census data as well as city planning documents. Maps and Photographs introduces Sanborn fire insurance and other historical maps, as well as collections of photographs. City Directories and Newspapers explain holdings in Philadelphia newspapers and the city directories that functioned like telephone directories before telephones were widespread.
Philadelphia Reference Works
Most Philadelphia-related books are at call number F 158.18. Unless otherwise noted, links below lead to Franklin, which will tell you where the book is located. More books can be found by searching in Franklin for Philadelphia History as a Subject.
Philadelphia: A 300-Year History by
Call Number: F158.3 .P5664 1982
Publication Date: 1982
Modern one-volume history of Philadelphia. Chapters arranged chronologically by subject experts. Not too easy to find material on neighborhoods or city regions.
Invisible Philadelphia by
Call Number: F158.18 .I58 1995
Publication Date: 1995
Surveys the history of voluntary organizations in Philadelphia. Provides some bibliographic information as well as disposition of archival materials.
The Planning of Center City Philadelphia by
Call Number: NA735.P5 P58 2007
Publication Date: 2008
Three centuries of the planning history of the city, from William Penn’s original concept to the design of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the renewal efforts that made Philadelphia a national leader in city planning and urban revitalization.
The Buried Past by
Publication Date: 1992
The most significant archaeological discoveries, based on more than thirty years of intensive archaeological investigations in the greater Philadelphia area.
WPA Guide to Philadelphia by
Call Number: F158.18 .P46 1988
Publication Date: 1937
One-volume older history of Philadelphia, produced through the Federal Writers' Project, Works Progress Administration. Divided into two parts: "The city and its background" and "Roads and rambles in and around the city".
Encyclopedia of Philadelphia by
Call Number: F158.3 .J15
Publication Date: 1931-1933
Brief entries on persons, places, institutions, and events in Philadelphia history. Some entries have bibliographic references.
Subjects: African Studies
, Aging Studies
, Data & GIS
, Food Studies
, Health & Societies
, International Relations
, Philadelphia Studies
, Political Science
, Population Studies & Demography
, Public Policy & Administration
, Social Sciences
, Urban Studies