Ask for Researching your Family History at the Central Library, a handout available at the Social Science and History Department reference desk.
The Newspaper Department has a handout on doing house histories. Ask for it at the Reference Desk in that department.
The books listed below are only SOME of the useful ones available at FLP.
Local histories contain much information about early land holders. Good lists of local histories can be found in United States Local Histories in the Library of Congress, SSH 016.973 Un31u, A Bibliography of American County Histories, SSH 016.973 F472b, and Consolidated Bibliography of County Histories in Fifty States in 1961, SSH/STX 016.973 P442c. Pennsylvania County and Regional Histories. Microfilm 974.8 P3823c. Many Pennsylvania county histories have been microfilmed. Ask for a list at the Map Collection. Bibliography of Pennsylvania History with suppls. SSH 016.9748 P3843b. Good for lists of Pennsylvania local histories. For material after 1970, use the database America: History and Life, accessible at the Parkway Central Library or through a subscribing library. For histories of SOME Philadelphia neighborhoods, inquire at the Social Science and History reference desk.
Pennsylvania Archives. SSH 974.8 P3823a. A Guide to the Published Archives of Pennsylvania is shelved with Pennsylvania Archives. See the following headings in the guide: Name of county, Tax Lists, Donation Lands, Depreciation Lands, Forfeited Estates, Indian Deeds, Land Warrantees, Last Purchase Land Warrantees, Maps, Proprietary Manors, Rights, Warrants, and Welsh Purchasers.
Warrants and Surveys of the Province of Pennsylvania Including the Three Lower Counties, 1683-1759. SSH 929.3 P53w. Includes Philadelphia City and County, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Kent, Lancaster, York, New Castle, and Sussex Counties, and the town of Reading.
Guide to the Mortgages of the General Loan Office of the Province of Pennsylvania, 1724-1756. SSH 929.3748 G941t.
Guide to Records of the Sale of Commonwealth Property in Philadelphia County, 1780-1798. SSH929.3748 G941tr.
Philadelphia Land Titles. Map Collection (MAP) 347.2 P53l. A very small collection of published land titles.
Index of Wills and Administration Records, 1682-1782, 1783-1810, 1811-1831, 1832-1850. SSH 929.3 W6751. Philadelphia wills.
Philadelphia Preserved: Catalog of the Historic American Buildings Survey. Art Department (ART) 720.9748 H629a. There are archival photographs and drawings on microfilm in the Art Department for some of the buildings listed in this reference.
Inventory of Buildings Within the Chestnut Hill Historical District. MAP 917.4811 M71i.
Historic Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. MAP 720.9748 M711h. Shelved as 914.4811 M71h.
Historic America: Buildings, Structures, and Sites Recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey. ART/STX, Government Publications Department (GPD)/STX 724.973 H629a.
Guide to the State Historical Markers of Pennsylvania. SSH 917.4804 B468g.
African-American State Historical Markers. SSH 974.811 P53g.
Local Businesses: Exploring Their History. SSH 338.7407 K463l. Shelved with 929.1.
The Map Collection has one of the best collections of Philadelphia maps in the world. Included in the collection are ward atlases, Hexamer and Sanborn Insurance Maps for Philadelphia, Hexamer General Industrial Surveys, Delaware Valley aerial photographs, city ward boundary changes, and Philadelphia street name changes. Some resources are available online on the Map Collection Digital Collection site. Sanborn Insurance Maps for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware are available in the Map Collection as well as online in the Sanborn Maps Geo Edition database. This electronic resource is available at all FLP locations, and outside the Library with a library card number and PIN. The Map Collection also includes early atlases of suburban and other Pennsylvania counties (a good source for early land owner names), an extensive collection of country and state gazetteers (place names), and much other material of interest to genealogists: Philadelphia Street Name Changes. 917.4811 P53mo2. Descriptive List of the Map Collection in the Pennsylvania State Archives. 016.912748 P384d. U.S. Atlases: a List of National, State, County, City, and Regional Atlases in the Library of Congress. 016.912 Un33u. Land Ownership Maps in the Library of Congress. 016.912 Un33la. Ask the Map Librarian for assistance.
PACSCL Photography Directory: Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Print and Picture Collection (PIX) 779.074 P1a. Print and Picture Department. A print and online subject index to the holdings of hundreds of photographic archives. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of this ESSENTIAL directory. Philadelphia Photograph Subject Headings. MAP/PIX 025.4997 P53p. Lists photograph subject headings used at the Urban Archives, Samuel Paley Library, Temple University. List of Subject Headings for Photographs in the Suburbs Photograph Collection: Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. MAP/PIX 025.4977 L696o. Lists photograph subject headings used at the Urban Archives, Samuel Paley Library, Temple University. The Print and Picture Collection (PIX) has many photographs, prints, and other graphic material related to Philadelphia. Make inquiries at the PIX reference desk.
A History of the Region of Pennsylvania North of the Ohio and West of the Allegheny River.... SSH/STX A974.8 Ag6. A brief account of the division of this area for public purposes, including donation and depreciation lands.
Genealogist's Guide to Pennsylvania Records. SSH 929.1072 G286g. Lists Historical Society of Pennsylvania holdings for PA counties as of the 1980s. A good source for lists of deeds, land records, and probate records by Pennsylvania county.
Many branch libraries of the Free Library have neighborhood related holdings.