PhILS banner
Agency level banner

Records, Department of

[Record group 86]
Agency home page.
Agency Function
The Department of Records is the information resource management service of City government. It provides leadership to all Philadelphia government agencies in the management of their records. The Department sets records management standards and procedures for all departments, boards, commissions, and agencies and manages key records operations and services such as the City's Archives, the Records Storage Center, the Recorder of Deeds, and central reprographic 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.

Administrative Subunits
Document Recording Division
General Support Division
Records Management Division
Reprographics Division
Information Systems Management Divisions

Agency History
The Department of Records was organized in accordance with the provisions of the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter of 1951 in order to oversee the orderly and efficient maintenance of City records. It establishes standards and a control over the creation of forms, maintenance procedures, and final disposition of all City records. The City Archives was created within this department to provide for the preservation and general use of all non-current records of administrative, historical, legal or cultural value. In addition, the Department receives and keeps the originals of all rules and regulations promulgated by any office, department, board or commission. The intent of the framers of the Charter included the incorporation of the Recorder of Deeds and the Register of Wills into the Department of Records. In 1953, under an ordinance approved on 16 October, the office of Recorder of Deeds was merged into the Department of Records and became the Document Recording Division. The last Philadelphia Recorder of Deeds, Marshall L. Shepherd, became the first Commissioner of records. The Register of Wills remained an independent elected office.

Archival Records
86.1 Annual Report (1952-1986, 1989, 1990)

86.2 City Records Inventory and Appraisal (1952)

86.3 Papers, Early Records Retention and Disposal Studies (1950-1959)

86.4 Miscellaneous Book (1952-1955)

86.5 Reports and Publications (1952-1994)

86.6 City Archives. Correspondence and Files (1952-1989)

86.6a City Archives Newsletter (1967-1980)

86.7 Oaths of Office and Bonds of Officeholders (1952-1971)

86.7a Records Service Division. Records Management Surveys and Reports (1952-1987)

86.8 Records Management Division. Official Records Retention and Disposition Schedules (1958-)

86.9 Correspondence and Files (1952-1958, 1961-1962, 1964, 1966-1968)

86.10 Financial Management Manual (1974)

86.11 Financial Disclosure Forms (1985-1986)

86.12 Mortgages (1952-1963)

86.13 Rules and Regulations of City Departments, Boards, and Commissions, Filed with the Department of Records (1952-current)

Current Records
86.a Change in Registry

86.b City Maps and Plot Plans

86.e Legal Notices (of City Rules and Regulations)

86.f Military Discharge Papers

86.g Notary Public Recordings

86.h State Highway Plans and Specifications

86.i Subpoena of (Certified) Records for Court

86.j Unclaimed Recorded Instruments

86.k Writ Tax Collection

86.l Index of Recorded Documents

86.m Recorded Real Estatae Documents

86.n Act 287 (Damage Prevention Act) Filings

86.o Index of Traffic Accident Reports

Click on a folder or file to return to that level...
PhILS Home
City Agencies
Current Agency Information Sheet. (Text-only version of this page)

Send your comments to
Last updated on November 8, 2000