Authorized personnel from Archdiocesan offices may request records that their office created at any time with the appropriate information.

PAHRC’s collection is also open to the general public, though federal, state, and Archdiocesan policies require that some of these records be closed to researchers for varying lengths of time. Access to American Catholic Historical Society collections is practically unlimited and major portions of the Seminary and Archdiocesan materials are open to researchers. Access restrictions to Seminary and Archdiocesan materials apply to the usual run of confidential files and to bishops’ correspondence after 1920; however, bishops’ files after 1920 may be opened to researchers with special permission. Use of Archdiocesan departmental records requires the permission of the department.

The reference services offered by the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center are designed to accommodate requests for access to information found in our holdings while ensuring the long-term preservation of the collections and the protection the individuals’ privacy.

If you are unable to visit the Archives in person we do provide reference research services. Please see our policies outlined under Services and Fees.

If you are able to visit, please make an appointment with staff ahead of time to ensure that we are open. At that time, staff will also conduct a reference interview to establish what materials and collections need to be accessed. Please read our Access Policies and Guidelines before visiting.