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Philadelphia Neighborhood Research: URBS 210/ URBS 206: City Directories & Newspapers

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

City Directories

City directories, the precursor to the telephone book, are an invaluable resource for understanding the history of a city's businesses, organizations, and residents. 

Penn's holdings of Philadelphia city directories can be found in Franklin by searching "Philadelphia (Pa) Directories" as a subject. Some of these directories are digitized (location: online,) while a number of others are part of our microfilm collection. A handful are available in print.  When using the directories on microfilm, first consult an index of the microfilm directories, City directories of the United States, 1860-1901: guide to the microfilm collection, available in the Van Pelt Reference Stacks at Z5771.2 .C58 1983. Directories are listed alphabetically by city.

Each listing will tell you where to locate that directory in the microfilm, which is located in the Van Pelt Microtext Center. 1st Floor, Van Pelt Library.

Philadelphia Newspapers

Newspapers are online unless otherwise noted.