Research By Mail

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Research By Mail


Are you unable to visit HSP’s library? Or have you hit a brick wall with your research and want some expert help?

For a pre-paid fee, a skilled staff researcher at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will work on your research topic and search through our extensive archive. HSP holds records not just for Pennsylvania, but also for most of the colonies and states east of the Mississippi River. Sources used frequently include probate records, newspapers, church records, deeds, genealogical research files, and manuscript collections. While we cannot guarantee results, we will make every effort to help you by documenting all sources consulted during our research. Upon request, staff will also transcribe difficult to read original documents for you.

Basic research fees are $60 per hour, or $40 per hour for Friends of HSP. (Friends receive more than 30 percent off! Become a Friend of HSP today.) There is a minimum of two hours for your initial request. The research fee includes the cost of up to 20 photocopied pages of supporting documents.

If you have additional questions about HSP’s Research by Mail services, please contact our research team at or 215-732-6200 ext. 222

Rush Service

Research requests usually take 6-8 weeks to process. If you would like us to complete your request within 2 weeks, add rush service to your order for an additional $20 per hour.

Premium Service

With premium service, staff will research not only in HSP’s archive, but at other nearby repositories in Philadelphia. If a staff researcher believes that you could benefit from premium service, he or she will discuss this option with you. Premium service costs an additional $15 per hour. Photocopy charges made at repositories outside HSP are an additional charge.

Customized Services

HSP offers customized services, including professionally designed family history books and in-depth genealogical research. Click here to learn more.

Other Library Services

HSP offers additional library services, including exact citation photocopies, advanced paging services, and research strategy interviews.

Have a research question that can be answered in less than 10 minutes? Please contact or 215-732-6200 ext. 209.

Need high quality digital copies of documents or images? Click here or contact our Rights and Reproductions team at or 215-732-6200 ext. 333.