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.
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 print holdings of Philadelphia city directories are located in the F158 section of the 5th floor of Van Pelt Library. More extensive collections that postdate Penn's can be found in our microfilm collection, City directories of the United States, 1860-1961. First consult the index of the microfilm directories, which is available in the Van Pelt Reference Stacks at Z5771.2 .C58 1983. Directories are listed alphabetically by city.
Early (1785-1865) directories of Philadelphia are available online.