Executive Director’s Message

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

Though significant attention has been given in the United States to the care and preservation of federal and state records of historical value, much needs to be done with respect to those records created by our counties, cities, boroughs and townships. To help correct this im­balance in priorities in our Commonwealth, the Historical and Museum Commission’s Bureau of Archives and History applied for, and received, two grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to conduct a local records microfilming project. The work done under this project, which will terminate with the depletion of the federal funds at the end of this year, was summarized in a report printed in the spring issue of Pennsylvania Heritage.

A tremendous amount of historical documentation has already been created in our county courthouses and munici­pal buildings, and still more is being generated every day. Local public records contain a wealth of personal, social, economic and political information on Pennsylvanians and their communities. They are absolutely vital to those studying and writing local history. For this reason it is very important that we view the accomplishments of the Commission’s two-year pilot program primarily as a good beginning. Obviously, if we hope to adequately maintain the historical records of our political subdivisions, a per­manent preservation program must be initiated.

William J. Wewer
Executive Director