EXPLORE OUR COLLECTIONS
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), which include the papers of prominent Catholic clergy, laity, and institutions.
Associations / Institutions
The Associations Collection contains various printed material on Catholic associations and societies. Types of printed material include Constitutions and By-Laws, histories, programs of annual meetings and dinners and ephemeral material such as circulars and brochures.
Institutions collection contains various printed material on Catholic institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. A variety of types of institutions are included, especially hospitals, orphanages, and colleges.
About the Collections
The Catholic Historical Research Center collects printed materials, manuscript collections, and audiovisual materials relating to the history of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. These materials include the records of numerous Archdiocesan offices, the official correspondence of all of the bishops and archbishops of Philadelphia up to the present, as well as records from significant events within the Archdiocese’s history, including the 41st International Eucharistic Congress held in Philadelphia in 1976 and Pope John Paul II’s visit in October 1979. Archdiocesan records also include the sacramental registers of those parishes located within the present Archdiocese since their founding.
CHRC also houses the collections of the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia, as well as some records from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. ACHS records include printed, visual, and ephemeral materials that document institutions, associations, societies, religious orders, and parishes located within the Archdiocese as well as those of other dioceses located in the Mid-Atlantic region. The ACHS collection also includes 19th and 20th- century Catholic newspapers, journals, and pamphlets published throughout the United States, as well as the manuscripts of prominent Catholic clergy and laity. Other published materials in the collection include catechisms, devotional works, liturgical books, and sacred music.
CHRC’s image collection contains photographs and other visual materials documenting Catholic clergy, laity, and institutions of the Archdiocese. Two notable collections include the Packard and Butler Lithograph Collection as well as the Robert and Theresa Halvey Photograph Collection. The latter collection includes 100,000 photographs (including negatives) that Robert Halvey took for the Catholic Standard & Times, the official Archdiocesan newspaper from 1935 to 1999, as well as photographs for Catholic institutions that Halvey took as a freelance photographer.
The Museum is largely comprised of Catholic artifacts, and includes the Cardinal Krol Memorabilia Collection.
In order to support study of the collections, CHRC maintains a library with both reference and research materials, including Archdiocesan and National Catholic directories, Philadelphia City directories, and encyclopedias. Secondary sources include scholarship relating to the history of Catholicism in the United States as well as social and cultural histories of the various ethnic groups that shaped the American Catholic Church.