Historical Collections

The archives of the Society include books, directories, periodicals, pamplhets, manuscripts, parish histories, photographs and artifacts relating to American Catholic history and the Catholic Church in the United States, are currently housed at the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center. This Center is located on the campus of the Seminary of St. Charles Borromeo in Overbrook, Pennsylvania.

In the early days of the Society, the materials collected by the Historical Research Committee were housed in the Headquarters at 715 Spruce Street in Philadelphia, and displayed in the Museum. By the late 1930s, the volume of the collection was so great that it became a fire hazard. The Cardinal at that time, Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, recommended that the Board of Managers place the material in the care of the Archdiocese. After some discussion, it was decided that the Historical Collection was to be sent to the campus of St. Charles Seminary, under the custodial care of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The American Catholic Historical Society was chartered for the purpose of collecting and preserving materials related to American Catholic History. Their use by scholars and researchers continues to this day.

For information concerning our collections or their use, please visit the Philadelphia Archdiocesan a Historical Research Center website, or call them at 610-667-2125

Some historical materials have been digitized by Villanova University.