Executive Director’s Letter

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

This edition of Pennsylvania Heritage marks the beginning of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Commonwealth’s official history magazine. The magazine has developed and matured and today stands as a quality, award-winning publication that continues to meet the needs and interests of our readers. Articles by a wide range of authors have brought forward ground-breaking research on a variety of topics. New features have been added to make collections, communities, historic places, and interesting stories even more accessible to a broader public.

Pennsylvania Heritage contributors share new research and interesting personal stories. Topics range from the earliest settlements of Pennsylvania to the more recent past. PHMC’s annual themes provide a focus for developing a series of in-depth articles on a specific topic, such as the seventy-fifth anniversary of the New Deal in Pennsylvania in 2008 and “Energy: Innovation and Impact” for 2009. Our talented magazine staff ensures that every edition is attractive, readable, and accurate with well-written articles and visually appealing design.

The ongoing relationship with our readers and the feedback we receive has helped make the publication more responsive and more valuable as a source of information about Pennsylvania history for the public and as an educational resource for teachers and students.

The partnership between PHMC and the Pennsylvania Heritage Society® also developed over the past twenty-five years. With four thousand members, the Pennsylvania Heritage Society increasingly provides essential support for PHMC initiatives by developing programs and seeking funding, such as grants and corporate sponsorship, to further the shared mission to preserve and interpret Pennsylvania’s history for the benefit of both residents and visitors. Such public-private partnerships are often cited as a best practice for furthering cultural and historical goals. The partnership between PHMC and the Pennsylvania Heritage Society is an excellent example of how state government can work with a non-profit organization to offer a more effective product for the public than either could alone. Pennsylvania Heritage is a tremendous example of this partnership at work. Members strengthen and support PHMC programs, and we hear from members that the magazine is one of the most valued benefits of their membership. It provides an opportunity to learn more about our shared history, showcase important projects, and bring us together as members of a Commonwealth with a rich heritage. Thanks to the incredible work of our creative magazine staff, Pennsylvania Heritage at thirty-five has never looked better!

Barbara Franco
Executive Director, PHMC