Access to Civilian Federal Agency Records
at the National Archives at Philadelphia
The National Archives at Philadelphia has original archival records created or received by Federal civilian agencies in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. The archival collections includes paper documents, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings dating from 1789 to 1980s. Nearly 80 Federal civilian agencies are represented in the collection such as the U.S. Coast Guard (RG 26), U.S. Customs Service (RG 36), National Park Service (RG 79), the U.S. Mint (RG 104), Immigration and Naturalization Service (RG 85), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (RG 255). Federal law requires Federal agencies to transfer historic archival records to NARA.
The research potential of the National Archives at Philadelphia's archival collection is endless. Civil subjects covered include the Chinese exclusion acts, national parks and historic sites, patents and inventions, Philadelphia Mint, labor movement, the Industrial Revolution, the environment, Chesapeake lighthouses, Civil Rights movement, the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876, maritime commerce, New Deal, and civil projects.
Selected finding aids, including a comprehensive guide to archival records, are available by mail and the NARA web site.
The public may visit the archives facility in person, or contact us by mail, telephone, fax, mail, or e-mail.
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19154-1096
Telephone: (215) 606-0100
Fax: (215) 606-0111
In your correspondence, please include your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail. Please provide as much information as possible about your research topic, such as the record group, important names, time period, and geographic location.
Visitors to the Archives Facility
The public may visit the archives in person. Visitors should call in advance to verify that records related to their research are available. We will confirm the availability of records and schedule an appointment.
Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
To use archival records, visitors must present a NARA researcher identification card. Applicants must show official identification with a photograph, such as a driver's license, passport, school, or business ID. Applicants must complete a form providing their name, address, telephone number, and a brief description of their research.
Please allow several minutes to complete the registration process. NARA researcher ID cards are valid for 1 year. They may be renewed.
The Archives facilty has self-service paper copiers and self-service microfilm copiers. It also provides a copying service. See our current fees. Staff may restrict copying if the records are fragile or have other limitations.
We accept cash, money order, personal check (payable to the National Archives Trust Fund), and credit cards.