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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.

Commissioners (1945-present)

Executive Director (1960-present)

Valley Forge Park Commission

Washington Crossing Park Commission

Brandywine Battlefield Commission

Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation

Bureau of Archives and History (1960-2012)

Black History Advisory Committee

County Records Committee

Local Government Records Committee

State Historic Records Advisory Board

Bureau for Historic Preservation

State Historic Preservation Board

Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums, (1980-present)

Architecture and Preservation

Commonwealth Conservation Center

Placed Properties

Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties, (1960-1980)

Bureau of Management Services

Architecture and Preservation

Bureau of Museums (1960-1980)

Bureau of Museums, Historic Sites and Properties (1950-1960)

Bureau of Research, Publications, and Records (1950-1960)

Bureau of the State Archives (2013-present)

Bureau of the State Museum, (1980-present)

Friends of the State Museum

Division of Pennsylvania Folklore (1945-1950)

Historic Division (1945-1950)

Museum Division (1945-1950)

Public Records Division (1945-1950)

Individual Historic Properties (1930-present)

Brandywine Battlefield Park

Bushy Run Battlefield

Conrad Weiser Homestead

Cornwall Iron Furnace

Curtin Village

Daniel Boone Homestead

Drake Well Museum

Eckley Miners Village

Ephrata Cloister

Erie Maritime Museum and Flagship Niagara

Fort Augusta

Fort LeBoeuf

Fort Pitt Museum

Governor Printz Park

Graeme Park

Hope Lodge

John Morton Homestead

Joseph Priestley House

Landis Valley Museum

Old Economy Village

Pennsbury Manor

Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum

Pennsylvania Lumber Museum

Pennsylvania Military Museum

Pithole Historic Site

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Somerset Historical Center

Washington Crossing Historic Park

Department of Public Instruction, 1905-1945

Superintendents Office

Pennsylvania State Library and Museums (1905-1945)

General Library



Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1913-1945

Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies

Pennsylvania Historical Association

Pennsylvania Federation of Junior Historians

Working Files of the Works Progress Administration's Pennsylvania Historical Survey, [ca. 1935-1950]. (133 cartons, 5 boxes, 79 microfilm rolls, 40 folders, 7 volumes, 1 bundle) {#13.108}

Records of the Frontier Forts and Trails Survey, 1936-1942

Records of the Pennsylvania Writers, Pennsylvania Historical Commission, American Guide Series, 1935-1941 (27 cartons, 1 box)

Records of the Pennsylvania Historical Records Survey, 1937-1942, 1946, 1950 (74 cartons, 3 boxes, 21 folders)

Records of the Civilian Works Administration and the Pennsylvania State Library

Records of the Museum Extension Project of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, Pittsburgh Unit, 1938-1969

Records of the Philadelphia Maritime Statistics Project, Pennsylvania Historical Commission, [ca. 1937-1941]

Records of the National Archives and the University of Pennsylvania, 1941

Records of the Survey of the Federal Archives, Pennsylvania Historical Records Survey, Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1942

Records of the Department of Public Instruction and the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies, 1942

Last minimal processing update: 11/12/2015, acc. #6867

PA State Archives News and Programs Research Online Visit