Pennsylvania State Archives Completes National Historical Publications and Records Commission Documenting Democracy Grant

Thanks to Josh Stahlman from the Pennsylvania State Archives for providing this recap of an important project completed by the Archives staff this spring. Funding for the project came from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, a federal agency "affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that supports a wide range of activities to preserve, publish, and encourage the use of documentary sources, created in every medium ranging from quill pen to computer, relating to the history of the United States."

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In October 2014, the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation® (PHF), a fiduciary of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, received a $60,456 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) “Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records” program. The grant enabled the Pennsylvania State Archives to expand public accessibility, ensure long-term preservation, and further increase intellectual control over records of the Office of the Governor, specifically those related to the administrations of late-20th-century Governors Milton Shapp, Richard Thornburgh, and Robert P. Casey. Collectively these records, many pertaining to the Civil Rights era, provide valuable insight into the workings of Pennsylvania’s Chief Executive and how critical decisions affecting the Commonwealth and the nation were made.

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Records prior to arrangement and rehousing (photo PA State Archives)
The project, completed on March 31, 2016, involved the detailed processing of 251.5 cubic feet of documents and the digital conversion of 406 videotapes (the latter was part of the required cost sharing by PHMC). The records were reappraised, arranged and re-housed in acid-free folders and containers for long-term preservation.

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Records of the PA Commission for Women, after processing (photo PA State Archives)

Folder-level finding aids were produced and are available on the Archives website (or click on series names): four series from the Pennsylvania Commission for Women, 1962-2012 (77 cubic feet); two series from the Bureau of Affirmative Action, 1970-1994; the Governor’s Review of Government Management Committee Records, 1971-1974 (43 cubic feet); and the Records of the Chief Clerk’s Office, 1874-1979.

The State Archives and the PHF again wish to thank the NHPRC for providing the funding to enable detailed processing and digital conversion of these records from the Office of the Governor, which allow for the critical study of how the Commonwealth has responded to seminal events in United States history and its relationship with the federal government. These important records truly document democracy in action.

1 comments:

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