Behind Halvey's Lens
A Photographic History of Catholic Philadelphia
CHRC holds one of the largest collections of
Catholic newspapers in the United States.
CHRC has numerous images of churches, religious persons, events, and places relating to the history of the Archdiocese.
The Manuscript Collection includes records of all of the bishops and archbishops of Philadelphia up to the present. The Manuscript Collection of the American Catholic Historical Society (ACHS) includes the papers of prominent Catholic clergy, laity, and institutions.
Stay connected as we highlight and explore
a different piece of our collection in each post.
Welcome to the Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The purpose of the Catholic Historical Research Center (CHRC) is to collect, preserve, and make available for research the official records of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and those ancillary records and items that reflect the growth and development of Catholicism within the Archdiocese in accordance with the approved Collection Access Policy.
Thanks to generous support from the American Catholic Historical Society, fourteen more years of Catholic Standard & Times, spanning from 1916 to 1930, have just been added to the Catholic News Archives, a free online resource that provides access to twenty historic Catholic newspapers and news agencies from across the country from as early as the 1830s. All material is fully searchable by date and keyword.
Access to these newly digitized issues allows individuals to learn about many important issues, including:
- Catholic involvement in World War I and responses to the 1919 influenza epidemic
- Catholic institutional development during a period of immense brick-and-mortar growth
- Catholic reactions to women’s suffrage, prohibition, and other political issues of the period
- Catholic responses to renewed Nativism and anti-immigrant sentiment
- Catholic community life and social engagement among diverse communities
This most recent grant from the American Catholic Historical Society builds on an earlier donation that supported the digitization of the Catholic Standard & Times from 1944 to 1963. The Catholic Standard & Times, the official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was published between 1895 and 2012.
The material can be access by visiting: https://thecatholicnewsarchive.org/
Parish Mapping Project
Explore our maps of the parish boundaries from different points over the history of the Archdiocese:
View the 1971 parish boundary map here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1kAuttxjUNIOTogr05zzDB31kB9gq4myC&usp=sharing
View the 1921 parish boundary map here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=12hZun1-1hUN1DowqK7ICETiiYl4dIndo&usp=sharing
View the 1891 parish boundary map here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1Yhysl8mMehtqFoBYKT5_WX0uHKT4O-pB&usp=sharing
Catholic Heritage Archive
Check out this great new resource powered by FindMyPast! The Catholic Heritage Archive is a digital archives containing thousands of parish records! You can flip through the marriage and baptismal records for each of the Archdiocese's parishes and best of all its FREE to use!
New Digital Resources Available!
CHRC joined with FindMyPast to make historical parish baptismal and marriage records available to the public. Pre-1919 records are on-line and can be searched and downloaded. Also available are the Philadelphia Roman Catholic Diocesan Newspapers, from 1833-Sept. 28, 1951 with some gaps when either issues were missing or a newspaper was not published. Click here for information about Catholic newspapers in Philadelphia.
All the records are indexed and keyword searchable. The search is free; however, to view the records a subscription to Findmypast is required.