secthead Resources

What's in the Archives

Lancaster City Archives Collection is the repository for almost 1,200 of Lancaster City's historic records. These records range in date from the late 1700s to the 1980s, and provide insight into the complex workings of city business and government over a period of nearly two centuries.

For a complete list of records, a finding aid is available in the Research Library or use the keyword search "City Archives" to view Library Catalog records. You may also utilize our online collections database to search keywords specific to your research, such as "water rents" or "market records".


Lancaster County Government Records has been entrusted with the care of more than 500,000 original local government records, ranging in date from 1729 to 1965. These records may be accessed via the finding aid at the Research Desk, by searching our online collections database, or with the keyword search ‘government records’ on the library catalog. Some records are readily available and some requests will be processed in 2-3 business days, as listed below.

Read more: Lancaster County Government Records
Manuscript Groups

Manuscript Groups (MGs) are collections of original documents, ephemera and other artifacts which have a common theme or origin. They may be the records of a family, an individual, an organization, or a local business. Diaries, letters, business records, genealogy research, deeds, and scrapbooks are just some of the items that are found in the archives. The Manuscript Group Finding Aids page contains a list of titles; each title links to a finding aid (the contents list) for the manuscript group. The titles are shown in alphabetical order, by surname when appropriate. You may also use the Discovery Tool on our website for keyword searches specific to your research, such as a surname or subject.


The Archives houses bound volumes and single issues of Lancaster City and County newspapers. Access to original issues may be restricted due to the poor condition of the newsprint. Patrons will be asked to use a microfilm copy whenever possible. Original newspapers may not be photocopied.  Some of our newspapers are also available on-line.


Our Blogs

The History Bucket


Because the world is a bucketful of questions.  And someone's gotta answer them

While working with the object collections of we come across many questions.  Visit here to see some of the more unusual stories that we have uncovered.

[Read My Blog]

Historically Speaking


The staff and volunteers of the Archives Department at never know what they'll find when working on the documents and records in the collections.  Fortunately, when they do discover something noteworthy they are very willing to share!

[Read Our Blog]

Marianne's PhotoBlog


Because pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they need an interpreter.

You know that cliché about a picture being worth a thousand words? Ok, well, imagine the stories going on in my head after cataloging several hundred photos every single day!

[Read My Blog]

Wheatland: A Love Story

Who would have guessed that a young lady would fall in love with an old President and his old house?

One Young Lady, One Old House, Two Hundred Years of History

I’m Jennifer Walton, Museum Associate at President James Buchanan's Wheatland, and I love an old President and his old house! Over the past nine years, I’ve learned quite a lot about both, and I would love to share it with you!

[Read My Blog]

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