Some Good News

View of museum grounds with fall foliage all around
View from the Webber Cabin on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum (see Facebook album for more autumn beauty)

We were very pleased to learn this week that PHMC's recent grant proposal to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has met with success. We were awarded $246,500 in federal CARES Act funds to design, produce, and deliver new digital learning resources to support individuals and groups affected by COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. A staff steering committee will work with outside advisors to make sure that what we produce meets the needs of educators, people experiencing access barriers, and other underserved audiences. Each site will have a professionally produced virtual tour that can be the basis for other digital program offerings. We'll also develop regional hubs for digital equipment, and staff will receive training to enhance their digital program skills. This project will allow us to build on the work that our sites have already begun as a result of the COVID-19 closures and expand our reach throughout Pennsylvania and the rest of the world. Pennsylvania History to Go, as the initiative is called, was one of three projects in Pennsylvania to receive funding. Overall, IMLS received 1,701 applications for the IMLS CARES Act grants, requesting $409,251,399, and funded 68 projects nationwide for a total of $13.8 million. We had our first steering committee meeting this week and are ready to get started. (As some of you may remember, we are in the midst of another IMLS-funded project, Accessibility Excellence, that was awarded last fall. We are now two for two. Not that we're bragging. Okay, maybe a little.)

Outline of the state of Pennsylvania covered with a rainbow flag. Text reads LGBTQ History Month, October 2020

Lots of History, All Month Long

October seems to be a big month for history and history-related celebrations. In honor of American Archives Month, staff from the Pennsylvania State Archives will take part in Ask an Archivist Day (#AskAnArchivist) on Wednesday, October 7. Watch PHMC's social media for more information on that and to follow along. (Oct. 7 is also the Archives and Records Management Seminar - visit the Archives website for details and to register.)

Other notable celebrations this month:

The Week Ahead

  • Oct. 2 (that's today!), noon-1 pm, The State Museum of Pennsylvania: this year's Workshops in Archaeology program is a virtual speaker series, "The Delaware Indians: Then and Now." If you missed today's event, there are three more talks, Oct. 9, 16, and 23. The series is free, but you must register to receive the Zoom link (Facebook event has details).
  • Oct. 3, 1-3:30 pm, Railroad Museum of PA: Model Railroading Day is virtual this year. Ryan Kunkle, director of production for Lionel (and former museum staffer), will tell you what you need in your model railroader's toolkit. Museum volunteer Doug O'Brien will talk about the museum's Pennsylvania Railroad Middle Division HO scale layout and what it takes to maintain this complex display (Doug was honored as Volunteer of the Year several years ago for his work with the Middle Division layout). Tickets are by donation; you must register to get the Zoom link.
  • Oct. 6, 7 pm, Pennsbury Manor: museum educator Mary Ellyn Kunz will host a live orientation via Zoom for teachers and parents who want to learn more about Pennsbury's virtual field trip program. Contact Mary Ellyn,, to sign up.
  • Oct. 8, 7-8 pm, Ephrata Cloister: this month's Ephrata Academy program is "'Room Enough for Them All': The People of Lancaster County in the 18th Century." Museum educator Michael Showalter will explore the diversity of early residents, based on tax records, church histories, travel accounts, local histories, and family traditions. The program is free, but you must register to get the Zoom link to watch it live (it will be recorded and available on YouTube later). Check the website for details.


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