PHMC Highlights presents stories and information about PHMC programs, events, exhibits and activities.

Pennsylvania State Archivist David A. Haury, Ph.D., director of PHMC’s Bureau of Archives and History, assisted President Barack Obama’s transition team as it relates to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Haury, president of the Council of State Archivists, Frank Boles, president of the Society of American Archivists, and Tracey Berezansky, president of the National Government Archivists and Records Administrators, met with the administration’s transition team in Washington, D.C., on January 13, to discuss criteria and qualifications for a new Archivist of the United States to replace Allen Weinstein who resigned in December. The participants also submitted a report to the president’s transition team on issues facing NARA.


Louis M. Waddell, Ph.D., associate historian with PHMC’s Bureau of Archives and History, retired on February 13, after thirty-five years of service with the Commonwealth. An associate editor of Pennsylvania Heritage for the past eighteen years, he reviewed articles for historical accuracy, contributed feature articles, and provided editorial assistance. Among important papers he has published, Waddell cited “The Emergence of An Archives for Pennsylvania,” which appeared in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies in 2006. Dr. Waddell edited Volumes III, IV, V, and VI of The Papers of Henry Bouquet, published by PHMC between 1976 and 1994, totaling more than thirty-one hundred pages in print.


In December 2008, PHMC recognized employees for longevity, including fourteen staff members with ten years of service, ten with fifteen years, six with twenty years, four with twenty-five years, and five with thirty years. Dolores M. Buchsen, site administrator for the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum, Galeton, Potter County, marked forty years, and Judie A. Marcus, clerk typist for the Bureau of Archives and History, surpassed forty-five years. Notable is John H. Clark (above), a copy machine operator, who has reached fifty years of service to the Commonwealth. In addition to operating PHMC’s sophisticated micro-film equipment, Clark is known to many for his involvement in the annual Conference on Black History in Pennsylvania sponsored by PHMC.


PHMC is adding online video presentations to its repertoire of publications, brochures, Web sites, and the more than two dozen historic sites and museums it administers throughout the Keystone State. Virtual tours of historic destinations are just one aspect of a newly launched series entitled “Pennsylvania Heritage on Location.” This online offering holds enormous potential as a cost-effective way to reach thousands of viewers. First among the presentations is a video recorded at PHMC’s Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum (PAHM) in Scranton, Lackawanna County. Chester J. Kulesa, PAHM administrator, discusses the impact of the anthracite industry on Pennsylvania and the nation; a typical day in the life of a miner; and ethnic traditions and religious customs in northeastern Pennsylvania’s coal region. Using early twentieth-century photographic prints by John Horgan Jr. (1859–1926), currently on exhibit at the museum, as well as a tour of the museum’s galleries, Kulesa explains how coal was mined, sized, and shipped to market. He also addresses the anthracite industry in relation to PHMC’s annual theme for 2009, “Energy: Innovation and Impact.” Kulesa coauthored Illustrating An Anthracite Era: The Photographic Legacy of John Horgan Jr. published by PHMC.


Brothers Kenneth C. Wolensky, historian with PHMC’s Bureau for Historic Preservation, and Robert P. Wolensky, professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, gave a noontime presentation to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Knox Mine Disaster on Wednesday, January 21, at the State Bookstore. Speaking to a capacity audience, the Wolenskys discussed facts they uncovered and the individuals they interviewed while researching and writing The Knox Mine Disaster: The Final Years of the Northern Anthracite Industry and the Effort to Rebuild a Regional Economy (1999) and Voices of the Knox Mine Disaster: Stories, Remembrances, and Reflections of the Anthracite Coal Industry’s Last Major Catastrophe (2005), published by PHMC.