From the Executive Director features news and reflections on the work of PHMC by its chief administrator.

This issue of Pennsylvania Heritage includes an article about the development of historic preservation in Pennsylvania to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of our State Historic Preservation Board. With the appointment of James Biddle (1929-2005) in 1980 as its first chair­man, the board established a high standard and has attracted members of both state and national reputation. The accomplishments of the board and the staff of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) over the past quarter-century build on a much longer tradition – the contributions of Pennsylvanians who have cared about their past and have been willing to work hard to maintain the distinctive character of our Commonwealth. As a state known for its history and as a destination for heritage travelers, this work has served the citizens of Pennsylvania well. From early surveys for nominations to the National Register of Historic Places to the broader role that it now plays in community and economic development through Main Street programs and tax credits, historic preservation is one of the recognized tools for sustainable community development. As the feature in this issue makes clear, successful historic preservation efforts result from partnerships with local communities, private developers, state programs, and federal agencies.

Partnership is essential in other aspects of the work that the PHMC undertakes. This fall a number of public programs will be offered in collaboration with various organizations.

Archaeology Month will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 5, with a special event at the State Capitol building in partnership with the Pennsylvania Archaeological Council and the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. The PHMC and the National Archives and Records Administration, Mid Atlantic Region, will present an archives and records management seminar on Thursday, October 6, in Grantville, featuring the Archivist of the United States, Allen Weinstein. The Pennsylvania State Archives will conduct special tours and programs the following week in observance of National Archives Week.

Many of the holiday events featured in the newsletter calendar are only possible through the efforts of the associate groups which support the work of our more than our two dozen historic sites and museums. I hope that you will take advantage of the many programs that are listed in the calendar. This fall, the Pennsylvania Heritage Society is reinstituting its popular program of special tours for members with a trip to Bucks County.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the confirmation of two new Commission members, Senator Jim Ferlo, representing the 38th District (which includes parts of Allegheny, Armstrong, and Westmoreland Counties), and Laura S. Fisher, senior vice president, Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

As always, thank you to the members and friends who help support the work of the PHMC.

Best wishes to all for the upcoming holidays.

Barbara Franco
Executive Director, PHMC