PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records




Pennsylvania State Archives


The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission was created in 1945 to consolidate the functions of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, the State Museum and the State Archives. Charged with the responsibility of preserving the Commonwealth's historic heritage, the Commission administers the state archival and records management program and numerous museums and historical sites. The Commission also assists local historical societies and governmental agencies in all matters regarding historical preservation, conducts research and publication programs to promote Pennsylvania history, and manages the State Records Center. The Commission operates through its Bureau of Archives and History, Bureau of Museums, Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties, and Bureau of Historic Preservation.

The State Archives was originally created as the Division of Public Records in 1903 as an administrative unit in the State Library. A State Museum was also created under the State Library in accordance with legislation passed in 1905. As part of a general reorganization in 1919, the State Library became the State Library and Museum. In 1923 the State Library and Museum was made an administrative unit of the Department of Public Instruction as was the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, which had functioned as an independent commission since its establishment in 1913. Under the Department of Public Instruction, the State Library and Museum worked through five sections: the General Library, Law Library, Library Extension, Archives and History, and the State Museum.

Executive Director

Bureau of Archives and History

Bureau of Historic Preservation

Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums

Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties

Bureau of the State Museum

Division of Public Records, 1903-1923 (Under State Library)

State Museum, 1905-1945 (Under State Library and Department of Public Instruction)

Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1913-1945

Archives Division, 1923-1945 (Under Department of Public Instruction)

Last minimal processing update: 09/24/2009, acc. #5545 (wls)

PA State Archives Hours, Directions, & Fees Research Topics Finding Aids for Collections Land Records