The Historical Society of Pennsylvania library is open to the public Tuesday–Friday during the hours listed below.

Hours and Admission

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic,
HSP is scheduling limited research appointments. Click here for more information.

HSP's library is open Tuesdays through Fridays with advance registration!

Important announcements:

Library hours: Beginning September 7, HSP library will offer evening hours to researchers on Wednesdays! The new Wednesday hours will be 1:00 p.m. – 7 p.m.

 

Construction notice: HSP is currently undergoing interior renovations through October, which may result in unexpected library closures or temporary disruptions such as noise. Every effort will be made to honor reservations during this time, but please be aware we may have to reschedule your appointment with relatively short notice during this period. Please contact readingroom@hsp.org with any questions or concerns.

 

HSP is open to researchers by appointment Tuesdays through Thursdays in two shifts. You may register for two appointments in a day, depending on availability. On Fridays, a single appointment block is available:

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Wednesdays: 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.* (starting Sept 7)

Fridays: 10:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Library Admission: Admission to the library is free for HSP Members, students or members of the military with ID. The fee is $5 per timeslot ($10 for the whole day) for non-members. To learn about membership visit: hsp.org/become-a-friend.

 

Having trouble finding available appointments? Planning a multi-day visit? Contact library staff at readingroom@hsp.org to discuss what options may be available for you. We do hold additional appointments aside for flexibility.

Booking and cancellation policies: When making reservations, keep in mind that research space is limited. Please only schedule appointments you intend to keep. If you no longer need or cannot make your appointment, please cancel each slot as soon as possible to make room for other researchers.

Please note that appointments are for one person. If you're planning to bring another researcher, please schedule an additional appointment for each time slot under that person's name.

Mask Policy: HSP currently requires the use of face masks in all public areas except those designated for eating. If you arrive on your day of research without a mask, we cannot allow you to enter the library. If you're sick or feeling unwell, please cancel or reschedule your appointment for a later date.

Library Hours

Administrative Hours: Our administrative offices hold regular business hours 9 a.m.–5:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday.  Although the library is not open for public use outside of the days and hours listed above, staff do schedule business appointments and meetings during morning hours and Mondays. It is always best to pre-arrange to meet with staff, rather than stop-in and ask for them during non-public hours. HSP's main entrance on Locust street opens daily at 9:15 a.m.

Policies on Children:

  • Children are assumed to be students and have free admission to the library.

  • Children under kindergarten age are not permitted in the library (except to accompany their parents/guardians when viewing exhibits).

  • Children under 6th grade must be with a supervising adult in the library and in the front lobby. An adult accompanying a child researcher will be charged admission.  

Holidays and Closings: HSP is regularly closed Monday, Saturday, and Sunday as well as on the following holidays:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Mon., Jan. 17th 

  • Presidents’ Day - Mon., Feb. 21st

  • HSP Building Dedication Day - Mon., April 4th

  • Memorial Day - Mon., May 30th

  • Juneteenth - Mon.,  Jun. 20th (observed)

  • Independence Day - Mon., July 4th

  • Labor Day - Mon., Sept. 5th

  • Thanksgiving Day - Thu., Nov. 24th

  • Thanksgiving Friday - Fri., Nov. 25th

  • Christmas Eve & Day - Fri., Dec 23rd & Mon., Dec 26th

  • New Year’s Day - Mon., Jan 2, 2023

In the case of inclement weather, HSP follows the schedule of the School District of Philadelphia. Notice of all weather and emergency closings will be posted on our website and on our weather phone line at 215-732-6200 ext. 505.