If "newspapers are the first rough draft of history," the Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide is the first rough draft of Philadelphia's building history. Published weekly between January 1886 and November 1940, the Builders' Guide is unquestionably the single richest published source for documenting buildings in Philadelphia, containing hundreds of of thousands of specific building references as well as statistical and editorial analysis of the building trades during the city's most dramatic period of growth.
Browse the Builders' Guide
Choose a year to begin browsing the Builders' Guide. Years that are linked represent volumes that have been digitized. The Athenaeum has the only full run of the print copy; the remaining years will be added as they are scanned. Please be patient as the viewer loads. Each year is about 1,000 pages!
Search the Builders' Guide
The Builders' Guide is full-text searchable. To get started, just enter you keywords below.
For more complex search options, please see the Help page.
The Philadelphia Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide, George E. Thomas Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
This website was funded with the generous support of the Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Foundation. The Builders' Guide was digitized by the Regional Digital Imaging Center at The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. The website was created by Walt Rice of R&R Computer Solutions.