by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
As one of the original 13 colonies, Pennsylvania played an important part in our nation's early history. Many significant records were created and kept by Pennsylvania, as Philadelphia was both the site of the Continental Congress and the largest port of the time. Many of those early documents, and others through the 1800s, were transcribed into the published Pennsylvania Archives. These volumes should not be confused with the repository in Harrisburg where official colonial and state records are kept. The images here are pages from the 138-volume, 10-series set of the well-known collection of early government records transcribed and printed by the Commonwealth. The Pennsylvania Archives has been relied upon by scholars, genealogists, and historians for valuable historical information for over a century.
The only online availability of virtually all of the Pennsylvania Archives is here, with free access, on Fold3.com. Previously, the full set was available in total or in parts on various libraries’ shelves, or microfilm, and on a few CD-ROMs. Each of the ten series, numbered 1 through 9 plus the Colonial Records series, has been scanned and made searchable. Previous indexes to each series of the set were incomplete or non-existent and caused this valuable set to be underutilized by veteran and casual researchers alike. The valuable search capability created by Fold3.com provides the key to unlocking previously hidden names and events.