2015-2016 - pennsylvania historical and museum .2015-2016 ® ® annual report ... project to...

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    Annual Report2015-2016

  • Annual Report2015-2016

  • The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It was created in 1945 from the merger of three previously separate organizations: the Pennsylvania State Archives, established in 1903; the State Museum of Pennsylvania, created in 1905; and the Pennsylvania Historical Commission (PHC), organized by legislation in 1913.

    The responsibilities of PHMC, which are based in the Pennsylvania Constitution, are further defined in the History Code and the Administrative Code. The primary duties include the following:



    The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission works in partnership with others to preserve the commonwealths natural and cultural heritage as a steward, teacher and advocate for the people of Pennsylvania and the nation.


    The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission enriches peoples lives by helping them to understand Pennsylvanias past, to appreciate the present and to embrace the future.


    Andrew E. Masich, ChairJohn A. BarbourKaren Dougherty BuchholzSusan M. CorbettAndrew E. Dinniman, SenatorWilliam V. Lewis Jr.Robert F. Matzie, RepresentativeAnn MoranScott A. Petrie, RepresentativeFrederick C. PowellRichard M. SandJoseph B. Scarnati III, SenatorJean Craige Pepper VictorPedro A. Rivera, Secretary of Education, ex officio


    Nancy Moses, ChairOphelia ChamblissAndrew E. Dinniman, Senator William V. Lewis Jr.Andrew E. Masich Robert F. Matzie, RepresentativeScott A. Petrie, RepresentativeFrederick C. PowellRobert SavakinusJoseph B. Scarnati III, Senator David SchuylerKenneth TurnerPhillip ZimmermanPedro A. Rivera, Secretary of Education ex officio

    the conservation of Pennsylvanias historical and natural heritage the preservation of public records, historic documents and objects of historic interest the identification, restoration and preservation of architecturally and historically significant sites and structures.

    James M. Vaughan, Executive Director

  • Small Budget.

    Big Impact.

    The Pennsylvania State Archives preserves more that 250 million documents that reflect the cultural and legal history of Pennsylvania, ranging from William Penns Charter of 1681 to the digital media of recent governors. Archives staff train state and local government agencies to manage records effectively, to protect essential records from disasters, and to save money by retaining and destroying records in compliance with approved retention schedules. The archives also operates the State Records Center to provide low-cost storage for 800 million records that state agencies must legally retain but rarely use, as well as backup copies of vital records for most Pennsylvania counties.

    State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) preserves and protects Pennsylvanias historic buildings, districts, landscapes and archeological resources. SHPO works with communities, local governments and the public across the commonwealth on a variety of preservation initiatives and programs, including the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program, Keystone Historic Preservation Grants, the National Register of Historic Places, the Certified Local Government program, and federal and state historic tax credit programs. SHPO annually reviews and evaluates more than 6,000 projects that use state or local funds to assist municipalities, developers and citizens through the review process and to determine the potential impact on cultural and historic resources.

    The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission budget is less than 6/100 of 1 percent of the commonwealths annual budget, but its vital work serves every resident in Pennsylvania.

  • Bureau of Management Services provides fiscal and office support services, architectural and preservation services, and marketing and media services for PHMC. The Division of Architecture and Preservation manages facility planning, architectural and engineering design, and construction projects for all 461 PHMC facilities. The Division of Fiscal and Office Support Services provides budget, purchasing, human resource and other management services for the commission. The Division of Marketing and Media supports PHMC through media relations, graphic design, web administration, social media and the publication of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine.

    The State Museum of Pennsylvania curates a collection of more than 8 million artifacts, the largest collections in the commonwealth focused exclusively on the art, history, archaeology, geology, paleontology and natural history of Pennsylvania. The museums approximately 200,000 square feet of exhibits tell multiple stories of Pennsylvanias natural and cultural history. In 2015-16 more than 45,000 school students and 68,000 adults and family visitors participated in the museums educational and facility-use programs.

    Bureau of Historic Sites and Museums is the steward of 31 historic sites and museums across the commonwealth, from the recreated manor of founder William Penn and Revolutionary War battlefields to religious settlements and museums that focus on railroad, military, agricultural, lumber and anthracite history. PHMCs historic sites tell the vital stories of Pennsylvania. Each site is operated in collaboration with a community-based membership group. Combined, these public-private partnerships welcomed more than 500,000 visitors and 45,000 school children in fiscal year 2015-6 and provided a total economic impact in their local communities of more than $23 million.

  • We collect, safeguard and share our states most treasured documents and objects.

    Mammal Hall, with its 13 world-class dioramas of wild animals in their habitats, has been one of the most popular and iconic exhibits at The State Museum of Pennsylvania for nearly half a century. The project to revitalize the entire exhibit began in 2015 with restoration of the red fox and gray fox dioramas, and it resumed in 2016.

    Pennsylvania Icons, an exhibition at The State Museum of Pennsylvania showcasing more than 400 artifacts unique to the history of the Keystone State, opened in October 2015. Objects in the exhibit range from prehistoric fossils and 9,000-year-old Native American tools to the flags that flew at the Whiskey Rebellion and during the Gettysburg Address.

  • PHMC shares its collections with the public in a variety of exhibitions, such as Weathervanes: Three Centuries of a Pennsylvania Folk Art Tradition, which opened on March 13, 2016, at Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum in Lancaster.

    The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, Lancaster County, operates its own Restoration Shop, which in 2016 completed a full restoration of the famed Pennsylvania Railroad Locomotive #460, known as the Lindbergh Engine following its Washington-to-New York race with an airplane in 1927 to deliver newsreel footage of Charles Lindbergh receiving presidential honors after his historic flight.

    The Pennsylvania State Archives conserves invaluable documents from the states historic past, such as these Civil War muster rolls.

    The Collections Advancement Project, initiated in 2012 to automate the inventory of all PHMC collections, continued at The State Museum and many PHMC historic sites. By July 2016 more than 157,000 artifacts had been inventoried.

    PHMC Archaeology collections contain more than 7.5 million artifacts documenting the history and prehistory of Pennsylvania. A portion of these rich collections is on exhibit at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

  • We teach Pennsylvania history to children and adults because informed citizens are the bedrock of democracy.

    PHMC serves more than 100,000 schoolchildren each year, but also offers a wide range of life-long learning opportunities for parents, teachers and senior citizens. Here a group is introduced to the basics of taxidermy at The State Museum of Pennsylvania.

    Nature Lab, a new science education area at The State Museum of Pennsylvania focusing on the states rich natural history, features programs by specialists in fields ranging from archaeology to zoology.

  • Now in its 42nd year Pennsylvania Heritage quarterly, the official history magazine of PHMC , featured stories on Preservation 50, Farm Show 100, the Lindbergh Engine, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the desegregation of public schools, as well as interviews with former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil and rock legend John Oates.

    PHMC Historic Sites and Museums offer one-of-a-kind learning experiences, such as training aboard Flagship Niagara, based at Erie Maritime Museum. Students learn about the skills needed to sail the vessel that fought in the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie. Multiweek programs introduce students to seafaring life, Great Lakes ecology, and a more in-depth sailing experience. In 2015 Niagara was named the top sail training program by the American Sail Training Association.

    More than 2,400 Pennsylvania Historical Markers throughout the state tell the stories of people, places and events in Pennsylvania history. This year 23 markers were approved through the Historical Marker Program operated by the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office. Pennsylvania governors William W. Scranton and John S. Fine, Physiology/Medicine Nobel Prize winner Baruch S. Blumberg, first African American woman cartoonist Jackie Ormes, and Pennsylvanias Century Farm Program were among the subjects.


    Winter 2016


    Pennsylvania IconsFarm Show 100Old Economy VillagePreservation 50

  • The State Histori