Executive Director’s Message

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

It is with great pride that I introduce this twentieth anniversary issue of Pennsylvania Heritage. The changes and improvements in both content and design of the magazine have been remarkable. We have been able to move from what had been essentially a newsletter format with features about the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) to a handsome, richly illustrated magazine with a wide range of thought-provoking feature articles and interviews.

During the past two decades, Pennsylvania Heritage has won its share of awards and attracted thousands of loyal readers. From my perspective, our most important achievement has been making the exciting history of the Keystone State more accessible to a broad audience. As a result, we have explored diverse topics – on labor history and ethnic history, for example – that had usually received scant attention in public history forums. In this respect, we are truly serving the function of translating the work of historians into a public language. It is my hope that we can do even more in this regard in the future.

Readers of Pennsylvania Heritage will notice some new features. We call attention in “Lost & Found” to the Commonwealth’s priceless architectural heritage, much of which has been protected by our statewide historic preservation program. We have invited our curatorial staff to share examples of extraordinary treasures in the Commonwealth’s collections through “Curator’s Choice.” Our magazine will now include a feature on heritage desti­nations in Pennsylvania in recognition of the Commission’s important role in the state’s growing tourism industry: In a sense, we have come full circle from our earliest editions with more articles about the behind-the-scenes work of the PHMC and its remarkable staff.

Along with these new sections, we have made changes in the magazine’s overall design – beginning with the cover. Feature articles will now vary in length, and our graphics will be crisper and more readable than in the past. We are also developing a business plan that will enable us to aggressively expand our circulation and, eventually, increase the frequency of publication from four to six issues a year.

Our decision to change and constant­ly improve Pennsylvania Heritage is dri­ven by what you, the readers, have told us in your letters and in your thoughtful responses to various surveys we have conducted in recent years. Be assured, however that we will not alter our com­mitment to producing a quality maga­zine that reflects the Commonwealth’s rich heritage. This anniversary edition of Pennsylvania Heritage is our birthday gift to you. We thank you for your loyalty and for the support and encouragement you have given us during the past twenty years.

Brent D. Glass
Executive Director