National Archives at Philadelphia

Access to Civil Records

Records Available

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.

Records Request Process

Until renovations are completed, please contact us by mail, telephone, fax, mail, or e-mail.

Contact Information


National Archives at Philadelphia
14700 Townsend Road
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19154-1096

Telephone: (215) 305-2044

Fax: (215) 305-2038


In your correspondence, please include your

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • 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.