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

 

 

 


Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
Pennsylvania State Archives


RG-13
RECORDS OF THE PENNSYLVANIA HISTORICAL AND MUSEUM COMMISSION
Series Descriptions


Executive Director

Appointed by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to serve at its pleasure, the Executive Director is responsible for implementing policies approved by the Commissioners and overseeing the activities of the directors of the Commission's five bureaus. These are the Bureau of Archives and History, Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums, Bureau for Historic Preservation, Bureau of Management Services, and the Bureau of the State Museum. The Executive Director is also an ex officio member of the Environmental Quality Board, County Records Committee, and the Local Government Records Committee. The names of the Executive Directors, together with their years of appointment, are Donald A. Cadzow (1945), Sylvester K. Stevens (1956), William J. Wewer (1972), Larry E. Tise (1981), and Brent D. Glass (1987). In 1945 the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission was created as an independent agency reporting directly to the Governor. This new Commission combined the activities of the former Pennsylvania Historical Commission, the State Archives, and the State Museum that had previously functioned within the Department of Public Instruction. The membership of the new Commission was expanded from five to nine members with the Superintendent of Public Instruction serving as an ex officio member to represent the interests of educators. Governor Edward Martin appointed Attorney General James H. Duff as the first Chairman and retained Frances Dorrance and Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Francis B. Haas from the preceding Pennsylvania Historical Commission. The new members were Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Richard Norris Williams II, attorneys Charles J. Biddle and Charles G. Webb, newspaper publishers Thomas Murphy and Edgar J. Stevenson, and philanthropist A. Atwater Kent, Jr. Donald A. Cadzow served as the first acting Executive Director, Sylvester K. Stevens as State Historian, and Donald H. Kent as Associate Historian.


Administrative and Correspondence Files of the Commission Chairman,
1956-1961, 1966-1972.
(3 cartons, 1 box)

{series #13.1} [Holdings]

Administrative records and photographs are grouped alphabetically by subject and correspondence is arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent.

Budget reports, legislation, personnel materials, press releases, travel vouchers, pamphlets, articles, news clippings, photographs, and correspondence of the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Subjects include the 1956 reorganization of the Commission and the resignation of Bureau of Museums, Historic Sites, and Properties Director Earle Newton. Other topics concern activities at the Daniel Boone Homestead, Drake Well Museum, Ephrata Cloister, Flagship Niagara, Graeme Park, The Highlands, Hope Lodge, Morton Homestead, Old Economy, Pennsbury Manor, Pennsylvania Farm Museum at Landis Valley, Pottsgrove Manor, and the Twenty-Eighth Division Shrine. Photographic subjects include acceptance ceremony for Hope Lodge on May 2, 1958 and various meetings of the Commission held 1956-1959.

Administrative and Correspondence Files of the Comptroller,
1945-1956.
(5 cartons, 1 box)

{series #13.2} [Holdings]

Administrative records are grouped alphabetically by subject and thereunder arranged chronologically and correspondence is arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent.

Budget reports, memoranda, inventories, audit reports, monthly account statements, appropriation reports, appropriation requisitions, travel expense vouchers, and correspondence file of Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Comptroller William Coombs. The appropriation requisitions cover both general operations as well as accounts at Admiral Perry Park (1947), Cornwall Furnace (1945-1953), Daniel Boone Homestead (1945-1947), Drake Well Memorial Park (1946-1949), Ephrata Cloister (1945-1954), Flagship Niagara (1945-1949), Old Economy Great House (1947-1950), Pennsbury Manor (1946), and Pennsylvania Farm Museum at Landis Valley (1953-1955). Also present are bids and contracts for Ephrata Cloister (1945-1953), Flagship Niagara (1947-1949), Governor Printz Park (1948), Old Economy (1945-1946, 1953), and Pennsbury Manor (1945-1951). Topical correspondence folders cover such topics as Civilian Defense (1945), Autumn Leonard at Erie Custom House (1945-1949), Historical Marker Program (1945-1953) Brandywine Battlefield Park Commission (1947-1950), Cornwall Furnace (1945-1953), Daniel Boone Homestead (1946-1950), Drake Well Park (1945-1953), Ephrata Cloister (1945-1953), Flagship Niagara (1945-1951), Fort Augusta (1945-1953), Fort LeBoeuf (1947-1953), Governor Printz Park and John Morton Homestead (1945-1953), Old Economy (1946-1953), Pennsbury Manor (1945-1953), Pennsylvania Farm Museum at Landis Valley (1945-1953), and Pottsgrove Manor (1946-1953). Also present is the April 11, 1946 architectural services agreement with Zantziner & Borie for the William Penn Memorial Museum and the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Administrative and Correspondence Files of the Executive Director,
1945-1988, 1990-2002.
(138 cartons, 3 boxes)

{series #13.3} [Holdings]

Administrative records and photographs are grouped alphabetically by subject and correspondence is arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent.

Budget reports, articles, memoranda, audit reports, and correspondence of the Executive Directors Donald A. Cadzow, Sylvester K. Stevens, William J. Wewer, Larry E. Tise and Brent D. Glass. The correspondence documents all aspects of the executive level activities of the Commission. Topical folders cover Area Emergency Planning Conference (1962), Auditor General (1959-1967), Board on Geographic Names (1956-1971), Canadian Historical Resources Conference (1960, 1962), Capitol Broadcasting Corporation (1960), Civil War Centennial Commission (1957-1965), Cornplanter Grant (1957-1965), and William Penn Memorial Museum (1956-1964).

Other subject materials cover annual meetings and activities of the American Association for State and Local History (1955-1982), Bicentennial Commission (1967-1978), County Records Committee and Local Government Records Committee (1956-1982), and general departmental correspondence. A General Projects File contains Biennial Reports (1936-1950, 1956-1972), Commission Reports (1945-1955), Commission Ten Year Report (1951-1962), Activities Reports (1966-1974) Staff Reports (1966-1978), Flood Damage Reports (1972-1978) and a large number of topical folders covering a wide variety of subjects. A sub-series consisting of 15 cartons was processed at a different time from the above materials and contains records relating to Bushy Run Battlefield (1963-1981), Conrad Weiser Memorial Park (1954-1980), Cornwall Furnace (1951-1980), Daniel Boone Homestead (1954-1979), Drake Well Memorial Park (1954-1980), Ephrata Cloister (1947-1974), and the Flagship Niagara (1954-1980). Among the other sites covered by this sub-series are Fort Bedford (1957-1973), Governor Printz Park (1954-1980), Graeme Park (1958-1980), the Great Meadows Amphitheater (1963-1981), Hope Lodge (1955-1980), Mather Mill (1965-1980), John Morton Homestead (1955-1980), and Old Economy (1954-1980). Finally, this sub-series contains folders for the Old Chester Courthouse (1967-1980), Pechin House (1959-1963), Pennsbury Manor (1951-1980), Pottsgrove Mansion (1954-1980), Joseph Priestley House (1940-1980), Washington Crossing State Park (1971-1981), Brandywine Battlefield State Park (1947-1980), and Valley Forge State Park (1917-1979). Two other sub-series also processed at different times and covering the periods 1953-1985 and 1978-1988 contain 52 cartons and 35 cartons respectively and are also arranged alphabetically by subject. The search room finding aids identify the contents of the folders in the cartons of all sub-series by subject title.

Administrative Files of the Public Information Officer,
1961-1979.
(22 folders)

{series #13.4} [Holdings]

Grouped by alphabetically by subject and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of record.

Press releases, newspaper clippings, research materials, and correspondence of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Public Information Officer. Subjects include the Daniel Boone Homestead Long Rifle (1963), Boalsburg Military Museum Preview Dedication (1969), Chalkley Hall [undated], Drake Well Museum (1970), Earth Day (1970), Military Pageant Units (1973), Pithole Museum (1971), Washington Boro Archaeological Dig (1969), Bicentennial Committee Reports (1974), Museum Exhibits (1974-1976), Priestley Laboratory Restoration Program (1976), and the transfer of Valley Forge State Park to the National Park Service (1977).

Awards and Certificates Issued and Received by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission,
1951, 1962-1974, 1991.
(1 folder and 1 item)

{series #13.6} [Holdings]

Unarranged.

Awards received by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and also recognition awards to Commissioner Ferne Smith Hetrick (1973) and the Commission resolution of regret at the death of former Executive Director Sylvester K. Stevens (1974). Awards to the Commission by the American Association for State and Local History are those recognizing the publication of Bibliography of Pennsylvania History (1958) and Forts on the Pennsylvania Frontier, 1753-1758 (1961) among various others.

A Brief Description of Museums, Historic Sites and Properties Administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission,
1972.
(1 folder)

{series #13.7} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by name of property.

Descriptive summary of properties administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Information provided is name of site or museum, a brief description of historical significance or purpose, location, when and how acquired, acreage of property, name and address of person responsible for property, number of staff members, major improvements completed, planned improvements, annual visitation, and admission fee.

General Projects Correspondence,
1943, 1950-1982.
(7 cartons)

{series #13.8} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Correspondence addressed to the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission concerning a wide range of projects in which the Commission was involved. Subjects include the American Swedish Historical Museum (1967-1971), Andalusia (1966, 1974), the Apostolic Clock Desk (1971-1972), Blooming Grove Museum (1967), the Carnegie House (1966), Catalogue of Historic Sites by the Joint State Government Commission Survey (1962-1966), Chestnut Street Friends Meeting House in West Chester (1966-1969), and Coleman Mansion (1967, 1969). Other topics are the Dictionary of Pennsylvania Biography (1963-1966), General George Meade Memorial (1967-1968), King of Prussia Inn (1950, 1952-1957), Lehigh Valley Coal and Navigation Company Papers (1962), Lenape Land Project (1967), Petroglyph Study at the Carnegie Museum (1962-1964, 1967), and National Trust for Historic Preservation (1955-1974) and Gail McKnight Beckman vs. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission et al., 1967-1982.

A History: The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission by Roy G. Nichols,
1967.
(1 volume)

{series #13.9} [Holdings]

A 56-page illustrated booklet entitled The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, A History by Roy G. Nichols (Harrisburg: 1967). The booklet provides a fairly detailed account of the creation of the original Pennsylvania Historical Commission, State Museum, and State Archives in the old Department of Public Instruction. It traces the evolution of these various entities until their consolidation into the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as an independent agency in 1945 and the subsequent evolution of the Commission up to the opening of the William Penn Memorial Museum, now the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Included are lists of the names of all of the Commissioners who served from 1913 to 1967.

Minutes and Agenda of the Historical and Museum Commission,
1924-1996.
(10 cartons and 1 volume)

{series #13.10} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Minutes of monthly meetings of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Information provided is date of meeting, names of those present, meeting agenda, and summary description of discussion and resolutions passed.

Minutes of the Historical and Museum Commission,
1945-1975.
(2 cartons)

{series #13.11} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Indexed internally, alphabetically by subject.

Minutes of the meetings of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Information provided includes the date of the meeting, names of those present, and a description of business transacted and resolutions passed.

Press Releases of the Public Information Office,
1942-1944, 1965-1976.
(8 cartons)

{series #13.12} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of press release.

Press releases issued by the Public Information Office concerning activities of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Information provided is date of press release, title of release, and text of release. Covers releases issued by Public Information Officers Joseph T. Kingston and George R. Dowdell.

Records of the Special Features Coordinator of the Public Resources Development Section,
1975-1986.
(3 cartons)

{series #13.13} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Special Features Coordinator file of activities and special events of the Commission and its various historic sites and museums. The type of information provided varies with type of event but generally includes date of event, names of leading participants, and a description of the nature of the event. Subjects include award to Dr. Roland M. Baumann for publication of A Manual of Archival Techniques, the gift of a 1915 Insurance Valuation Book to Eckley Miners' Village, Annual Conferences on Historic Preservation, Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Society Conferences, and Black History Conferences. Folders for historical marker dedications include the Canal Basin Marker at Altoona, Kinzua Viaduct State Historical Marker, Hilda Doolittle Historical Marker, Johnny Appleseed Historical Marker at Franklin, Wall House Marker, Robert Smith Marker, First Protest Against Slavery Markers, and the U.S.S. United States Historical Marker. Other dedications include the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company Marker, Charles Demuth Historical Marker, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. State Historical Marker, Saltsburg State Historical Marker, Boehm's Chapel Marker, and the First Presbyterian Church of Lancaster Marker.

Records of the Task Force Established to Examine the State History of Pennsylvania,
1981-1982.
(1 carton)

{series #13.14} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of material and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of document.

Public hearing files, questionnaire forms, audio recording tapes, and final report of the task force established to examine the state of historical research, education, and programming in Pennsylvania. The records were generated as a result of public hearings held by the task force at Erie, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, and Williamsport in 1981 and the final report that was issued in March 1982.

Records Relating to the Commemoration of the Tercentenary of Pennsylvania,
1978-1983.
(4 cartons)

{series #13.15} [Holdings]

Arranged alphabetically by subject or type of material.

Newspaper clippings, scripts for exhibits, press releases, minutes, speech transcripts, correspondence, and reports relating to the Pennsylvania tercentenary. Information provided varies with type of record. Topical folders cover the Black History Exhibit, Carpenter's Hall, the Exhibit of Tercentenary Documents at William Penn Memorial Museum, an Extinction and Endangerment Exhibit Script, the Governor's Art Show held at Home, Pennsylvania and the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum. Also present are the Report Prepared by the 300th Birthday Committee of the Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties, and Report of the 300th Birthday Planning Committee. One carton contains records of state historical marker dedications in each county.

Reports,
1945-2005.
(1 carton, 2 boxes, and 3.5 cu. ft.)

{series #13.16} [Holdings]

Grouped by type of report and arranged thereunder chronologically by date of report.

Printed, typed, and mimeographed biennial, annual, organizational, decade, accomplishment, specific powers, legislative, and activity reports issued by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Information given varies with type of report but generally includes date of report, name of author or authors, and concrete detail concerning the subject of the report.

Subject File of the Historical Foundation of Pennsylvania,
1961-1978.
(2 cartons)

{series #13.17} [Holdings]

Grouped by subject, with the correspondence arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent.

Minutes, reports, general information, brochures, correspondence, and accounts pertaining to the Historical Foundation of Pennsylvania. Formed in 1961, the foundation was described as the "United Fund for Pennsylvania History." A non-profit corporation chartered in Pennsylvania, it's purpose was to advance the study of Pennsylvania history through financial assistance to historical societies, educational institutions and individual historians. The files include board of director's minutes, 1962-1970 & 1977-1978, meetings and related correspondence, 1964-1974, treasurer's reports, 1965-1977, brochures promoting the Foundation and its goals, and correspondence, including letters of Mr. & Mrs. Albert M. Greenfield, 1965-1967.

Tape Recordings of Commission Minutes,
1966-1971, 1976.
(24 audio tapes)

{series #13.18} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Tape recordings of meetings of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission are restricted. Tape recordings exist for the following meetings: April, June and September, 1966; February, April, June, October and December, 1967; February, October and December, 1968; April and October, 1969; February, May, September and November, 197; and February, April, June, September, and November, 1971. Written minutes for all of these meetings will be found in Minutes of the Historical and Museum Commission, 1945-1975 {series #13.11}.

Tape Recordings of Public Information Office,
1958-1974.
(3 cartons)

{series #13.19} [Holdings]

Arranged chronologically by date recorded.

Eighty-one audio tape recordings made by the Public Information Office of interviews, conferences, and musical performances held in the State Museum and at various Commission historical sites. Among the interviews are tapes of Executive Director Sylvester K. Stevens, Field Curator Robert P.L. Frick, Associate Historian Wallace F. Workmaster, Historian Philip S. Klein, Consulting Curator Olive Zanor at Ephrata Cloister, State Research Archivist Sanford W. Higgenbotham, State Museum Curator John Witthoft, and Design Curator Ralph S. Walter. Other tapes cover interviews with Director of Historic Sites Earle W. Newton, Historians William N. Richards and William A. Hunter on the Historical Marker Program, and Historians Donald H. Kent and William A. Hunter on the Daniel Boone Homestead. Tapes are also present of Curator A.C. Thompson on Drake Well, Lawrence S. Thurman and John C. Barner on the Harmony Society, and George Spots and Janet Eshelman on the Pennsylvania Farm Museum of Landis Valley. The search room finding aid provides a complete listing of the titles and dates of all tapes.


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