The Home Rule Charter of 1952 established the Department of Records to ensure that Philadelphia's municipal records are appropriately controlled and managed. The Department sets records management standards and procedures for all departments, boards, commissions and agencies, and it manages key central recordkeeping operations and services such as the City Archives, the Records Storage Center, the Recorder of Deeds and the Central Reprographics Services.
The Department also directs public access to municipal records and establishes and collects fees to cover the cost of providing copies of records. As an agent for the Commonwealth and City Revenue Departments, the Records Department also collects realty transfer taxes and document recording fees. And, as the official City tax registry, the Department maintains the City's real property database and tax maps.