National Archives at Philadelphia

Plan Your Research Visit

The National Archives at Philadelphia holds permanent records created by federal agencies and courts in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Our research room is available by appointment only. Please contact our staff in advance to schedule your appointment and ask questions. Review our holdings in the National Archives Catalog and Guide to Archival Holdings at the National Archives in Philadelphia.

You will find information about the following on this page:

Facility Information

We are located at 14700 Townsend Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154. There is a visitor parking lot. Anyone entering our facility must provide valid photographic identification. All visitors are subject to physical inspection. There is both electronic and physical surveillance at our facility.

The National Archives at Philadelphia does not have a Wi-Fi (wireless access) network.


Our facility does not have a cafeteria or food service on-site. We have a communal break room, which has vending machines, tables, and refrigerators. There are several food options within short driving distance of our facility.

Our facility has two research rooms: Archival Research Room and Public Access Research Room.

Archival Research Room


Our research room is available by appointment only and has limited capacity. Please contact our staff to confirm your appointment ahead of time. Please include the following information when requesting an appointment: Your full name, daytime telephone number, email address, date and time of the desired appointment, and the specifics of what you are requesting to view. 

Obtaining a Researcher Card

Before using our archival holdings, every researcher must present a valid Researcher Card issued by the National Archives at Philadelphia or another NARA facility.

No valid researcher card? Complete the National Archives Researcher Orientation and Online Researcher Registration prior to your visit. We can issue researcher cards at our facility after the orientation and registration has been completed.

Inside the Archival Research Room

Reproductions and Scanning

There are a few options for making reproductions at our facility. Researchers may:

  • Take photos of records using a camera or phone as long as you do not use a flash. 

  • Use their own equipment to scan or copy the records (so long as the scanner meets the standards set by NARA Preservation Program). 

  • Use our photocopier to copy records or scan them to a flash drive (please note that NARA does not provide flash drives and there is a reproduction fee of 25 cents per page, per NARA's fee schedule).

  • Use our ScanSnap SV600 scanner. Please note the following:

    • It's available on a first come first serve basis.

    • There is no cost to use the machine.

    • If using this machine, patrons will need to bring their own laptops with the software already installed.

      • Software can be downloaded at

      • After the software is downloaded, run the installer and follow the instructions.

      • Connect the ScanSnap to the computer using the USB cable. 

      • Start ScanSnap Home to display the main window and click the "Scan" button. In the scan window that appears, click on the scanner box and add the connected scanner.

Public Access Research Room

The Public Access Reference Room at the National Archives at Philadelphia is a self-service research room that provides access to some of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) microfilmed and digitized holdings, along with our small reference library. This is a self-service research room, our staff is not available to provide genealogical consultation or undertake detailed genealogical or historical research with you

Public Access PCs

The National Archives at Philadelphia has six Public Access PCs, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We offer free access to and printing from (within Fair Use copyright provisions) a variety of online resources, including our digitization partners Ancestry, FamilySearch, and Fold3.


The National Archives at Philadelphia holds a small collection of microfilm. We charge $0.40 per self-service microfilm copy or scan, which is payable via check, money order, or credit card. To see what microfilm publications we hold in our Public Access Research Room, browse NARA's Microfilm Catalog or contact our staff. You can learn more about Microfilm Publications and original records which have been digitized by our digitization partners and are available online by checking out Microfilm Publications and Original Records Digitized by Our Digitization Partners.

Reference Library

The National Archives in Philadelphia houses a small reference library. You may use and make copies (within Fair Use copyright provisions) from these reference materials while in the Public Access Research Room.


Please contact us with any questions about the resources available in our Public Access Research Room.