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Philadelphia Neighborhood Research: URBS 210/ URBS 206: Data & Documents

Finding census schedules, photographs, and maps for places in Philadelphia.

Data Sources

City Documents and Reports

How to Find Property Ownership History

Penn Libraries provides access, though the City of Philadelphia, to ownership records of individual parcels in the city. To access both current and historical records, you must use two different tools, DOR Parcel Explorer and Philadox.

  • Start with DOR Parcel Explorer, available through the library website.
  • Log in with the user name and password provided.
  • Zoom in to the area of interest in Philadelphia, until you can see the outlines of individual properties (parcels).
  • Click on a parcel in your area of interest. Write down the numbers next to BaseReg and Parcel.
  • Access PhilaDox (through library website).
  • Expand the folder for Reg. Plans. The first part of the BaseReg number corresponds to the numbers in this folder.
  • In the folder that opens below, find the number for your BaseReg. Browse through the scanned pages to find your parcel.