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​Genealogy and Local History

State Library of Pennsylvania Genealogy Collection

The Genealogy and Local History collection is one of the most unique and utilized collections that the library provides and preserves. It consists of indexes, genealogies, state and county histories, family histories, city directories, atlases, land warranty maps, ship passenger lists, and compilations of church and cemetery records. The State Library also holds Federal Census records for Pennsylvania, from 1790 to 1930, on microfilm. Agricultural and business censuses are also available.

The State Library subscribes to several databases of interest to genealogists, including Accessible Archives,, HeritageQuest, and Fold 3. Current Commonwealth of Pennsylvania employees may access some but not all databases remotely. Others may use our databases onsite. Please see our A-Z Database List for more information.

Pennsylvania residents can also access the MyHeritage Library Edition database through Pennsylvania's POWER Library.

The online catalog to the State Library's physical collection may be searched by all researchers.

Unable To Visit The State Library?

Many of our resources can only be accessed within the State Library. However, libraries may ask to borrow from our Genealogy and Local History collection on fiche. Libraries may ask for Table of Contents or specific pages to be copied or scanned for their patrons.


State Library staff will assist with general research for patrons, however, staff will not conduct specific genealogical searching.