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Conducting Research

Genealogical Research

Getting Started

  • Basic genealogical requests may be submitted by e-mail or by visiting the University Archives.
  • Researchers must present the individual’s
    • full name
    • school attended
    • probable date of graduation
  • Research and copying services are available. The minimum fee for photocopy service for materials from the above collections is $15.00.
  • Special note about early medical education
    Not all physicians trained in Philadelphia during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries attended the University of Pennsylvania. Early medical doctors often received their training by means of apprenticeships rather than formal education; doctors who did receive medical degrees in Philadelphia sometimes earned these degrees from institutions other than the University of Pennsylvania.


The University Archives does NOT maintain a computerized, searchable index of alumni. Listed below are the three University Archives collections used for genealogical research:

  • Alumni Records Collection (“AR Files”)
    The University Archives holds biographical folders on MOST deceased alumni of the University. These files, known as the Alumni Records Collection, originate from the Office of Alumni Records. The folders contain a variety of assorted materials pertinent to genealogical research, but will not necessarily contain descendants or family trees. These folders do NOT contain transcripts or grades.
  • Master Alumni File Collection
    The Master Alumni File Collection (microfilm) is used to verify attendance and/or graduation from the University from 1755 to 1977. It notes the years and school attended, and the degree awarded. This collection does NOT contain transcripts or grades.
  • Yearbooks
    The University Archives also holds a complete run of undergraduate yearbooks from 1872 to the present. Photographs did not appear in yearbooks until the early-twentieth century. It is also important to note that not all graduates are necessarily included.

Other local genealogical repositories of particular interest include: