State Archives >  Research Topics  > Environmental Resources Overview > Environmental Resources, RG 14-34
A GUIDE TO SOURCES ON ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY IN THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE ARCHIVES, Part 3: Record Group 14 through Record Group 34

RG-14
RECORDS OF THE DEPT. OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS

Pennsylvania may be said to have taken a long step toward modern government administration with the creation of the Secretary of Internal Affairs. The office was a result of the Constitution of 1874, which created a Secretary with all the powers and duties of the Surveyor General and some previously exercised by the Auditor General. The Surveyor General was abolished. From the Auditor General the Secretary of Internal Affairs acquired general supervision of canals, railroads, and other transportation companies (other than supervision of their accounts which the Auditor General retained), including the power to continue to require annual reports from these entities and any special reports the Secretary thought necessary. The nature of the supervision could be altered by legislation. The Secretary was also to direct the Bureau of Industrial Statistics. In addition, this officer was constitutionally charged with such duties as should in the future be described by law relating to corporations, charitable institutions, and agricultural interests, mining, manufacturing, minerals, timber, and other material or business interests of the State. These provisions foreshadowed the history of an agency which tended to serve as a catchall or central office to which various unrelated functions and bureaus could be attached (or from which detached), in ad hoc fashion. However, the Constitution stated that the office was within the Executive Dept. and was to be elected by statewide ballot, so the basic foundation of the unit could not be easily altered at the whim of the legislative or executive branches. The Constitution also made the Secretary a member of the Board of Pardons.

In 1874, following the acceptance of the State Constitution, enabling legislation required the Secretary of Internal Affairs to report annually on railroads, street railways, canals, navigation companies, and telegraph companies each of which had been presenting their annual reports to the Auditor General since 1859, (when that officer in turn had taken over duties from two other abolished agencies, the Canal Commission and the State Engineer.) In 1884, telephone and express companies were added to the group who reported, and individual telephone company reports were made available in printed form. The unit of Internal Affairs that did this work became known at first as the Bureau of Railroads and Canals, and eventually as the Division of Public Utilities and Statistics. Its scope would eventually reach beyond transportation and communication, to include suppliers of water, heat, gas, and electric power.

The act of 1874 gave the Bureau of Industrial Statistics considerable power "to inquire into the relations of capital and labor, in their bearings upon the social, educational, and industrial welfare of all classes of working people, and to offer practical suggestions for improving the same." Statistical data could be obtained by subpoena and mandatory testimony, if necessary. Interior Affairs was also charged with keeping business corporations confined to the functions stated in their charters. The Secretary could investigate corporations accused of transcending these or otherwise infringing on public rights and, after investigation, refer the matter to the attorney general for litigation.

Of the six bureaus or "sub-dept.s" of Internal Affairs mentioned in the state legislative manuals of the 1880s and 1890s, four stood for functions that would still be recognizable somewhere in the Internal Affairs' organization when the dept. was abolished in 1966-1968: Land Office, Bureau of Assessments, Bureau of Industrial Statistics, and Bureau of Railroads and Canals. The Board of Property, a tribunal related to the work of the Land Office would also survive to the end. The Dept. of Labor and Industry was created in 1913, and its expansion into municipal statistics, by an act of 1915, seemed to duplicate Internal Affairs' statistics assignment. Part of the overlap was resolved in 1919 by an act transferring a Bureau of Municipalities from Labor and Industry to Internal Affairs. Now the organization of Internal Affairs named its primary statistical unit as the Bureau of Statistics and Information, which maintained its 1874 role of inquiring on behalf of "the welfare of all classes of working people." Furthermore, this Bureau of Statistics and Information absorbed, in 1920, the Bureau of Tax and Assessments, largely a statistical unit also. The next year, Statistics and Information also absorbed the elaborate work of the railroads, canals, and other corporations' bureau which at point bore the title of Bureau of Public Utilities. These became divisions under Statistics and Information.

The proprietors of colonial Pennsylvania, William Penn and his heirs, began selling land in 1682, so the records preserved in the Land Office run back to that year. The proprietors were very exclusive as to whom they sold land and which purchasers should receive the most desirable locations. Their Land Office was administered by a group of commissioners, officials in other offices serving part time on a decision-making board. The commission evolved into the Board of Property which decided questionable land title cases and became part of Internal Affairs in 1874, along with the Land Office. The Proprietary Secretary performed many duties for the proprietors who resided in England, and land sales was one of these tasks The Keeper of the Rolls preserved most of the official documents, including those dealing with land. Two other proprietary officers dealt only with land ownership administration: the Receiver General, who collected quit rents and land revenue for the Penns, and the Surveyor General, who supervised surveys which were essential for identifying land. The Surveyor General was perpetuated until 1874, growing more powerful along the way by acquiring some of the functions of the other original officers as they were eliminated. In 1765 the proprietors promised to stop opening and closing the Land Office at their leisure. In 1769 they started selling the vast area that had been obtained in a purchase from the Indians at Fort Stanwix in 1768, known as the "Last Purchase."

After the Revolution, the new State government passed the Divesting Act of November 27, 1779 which gave the State title to all land still untitled and paid compensation for it to the Penn heirs. An Act of April 19, 1781 organized the Land Office and formalized the offices of Surveyor General, Receiver General, and Keeper of the Rolls. It also established the Secretary of the Land Office to supervise the office staff. Under the administration of Surveyor General Daniel Brodhead (1789-1800) the office developed a reputation for favoritism and making dishonest deals with land speculators, including many with the one-time State Controller General, John Nicholson. When Thomas McKean became governor in 1800, he removed Brodhead. In 1809 the Master of the Rolls and the Receiver General were abolished. Now the State Treasurer was to collect the patent fees for land, and enrollment of land patents was assigned to the Secretary of the Land Office. A Land Office seal was instituted to authenticate office documents including patents (deeds) and warrants. In 1843 the Secretary of the Land Office was abolished and his duties transferred to the Surveyor General. In 1874 the new Constitution abolished the Surveyor General and transferred his operations to the Secretary of Internal Affairs, as stated above. In the twentieth century the Land Office became virtually synonymous with its administering unit, the Bureau of Land Records. In 1957 many of the Bureau's original records of historical nature were transferred to the State Archives. In 1959 the Pennsylvania Public Lands Act codified the statutes pertaining to Commonwealth owned land and repealed conflicting statutes. The Bureau of Land Records was transferred to the Dept. of Community Affairs in 1968, upon the termination of Internal Affairs, and in 1981 the Land Records unit was again moved, becoming a division within the Bureau of Archives and Manuscripts of the Historical and Museum Commission.

The Board of Property had existed under the proprietary government to make decisions involving sales and transfers of land from the proprietors to grantees. In 1782 the State government defined the Board's membership and jurisdiction. The Secretary of the Land Office, Register General, and Surveyor General constituted the board then, but in 1791 the Master of the Rolls was added. When these offices were abolished others were substituted by statute. In 1953, the Board's jurisdiction was considerably enlarged to include individual title or legal interest claims pertaining to land occupied or claimed by the Commonwealth.
The Dept. of Internal Affairs was unchanged by Governor Gifford Pinchot's first Administrative Code, in 1923, because the Secretary's constitutional status as a popularly elected official rather than an office created only by statute or administrative order, made that inappropriate. However, in the short-lived Code of 1927 and the permanent Administrative Code of 1929, the scope of Internal Affairs was rewritten and its chief executive entered into the newly created Executive Board.
In 1927 Internal Affairs' Bureau of Publications became the Bureau of Publicity and Information, and the Bureau of Statistics and Information dropped the latter half of its designation to become simply Bureau of Statistics. With the rephrasing involved, in the Administrative Codes of 1927 and 1929, the Bureau of Statistics was no longer described as collecting data for "the welfare of all classes of working people."

The Bureau of Vital Statistics, set up by the 1885 statute that created the Board of Health, depended on the Secretary of Internal Affairs to furnish "apartments and stationery" in the State Capital, and Internal Affairs was responsible for the custody of the collected statistics. The Vital Statistics clerical workers' salaries were charged to the Dept. of Internal Affairs. This arrangement continued until the creation of the Dept. of Health in 1905, which took over the functions of the Bureau of Vital Statistics.
When a Bureau of Mines was created by statute in 1897 to improve the system of anthracite mine inspecting, it was placed under the Dept. of Internal Affairs. With the creation of the Dept. of Mines in 1903, Internal Affairs yielded this function. A State Weather Service was created in 1887 to make "more efficient" the reports and forecasts of the United .States Signal Service (the name then applied to the National Weather Service). The State unit functioned under direction of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, a private science center, but Internal Affairs provided instruments and helped establish qualified weather observers in each county. Franklin Institute's involvement, the scientific component, was to be at no cost to the State. However, in 1891 an amendment to the statute passed the General Assembly transferring the operation entirely to Internal Affairs and increasing the appropriation. Governor Pattison vetoed the measure in 1891 because Internal Affairs had neither the equipment nor the organization to continue the work.

From 1919 to 1923 the Dept. of Internal Affairs included the Pennsylvania Topographic and Geologic Survey. Then the Survey was transferred to the Dept. of Forests and Waters, created in 1923. However, it was returned to Internal Affairs in 1927 and remained there until the breakup of Internal Affairs in 1966-1968.

A 1911 statute created the Bureau of Standards within Internal Affairs. Charged with maintaining uniform legal weights and measures to conform to the National Bureau of Standards' equivalents, it was to enforce these standards on the sealers of weights and measures - who were already established by law - not on the myriad of actual transactions in which sealed weights and measures were applied. The enforcement of proper use of standards in business transactions was the duty of local governments. Pennsylvania's involvement in this type of standards has expanded over the years. Nineteenth century law had designated the standard yard used in Pennsylvania at the time of the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Mint's troy pound, and liquid volume and bushels definitions in terms of cubic inches (the inch, of course, being 1/36th of the July 4, 1776 yard). The governor was responsible for depositing objects in these precise sizes and weights with the Secretary of the Commonwealth, who himself interacted with municipal and county officials so that there would be official duplicates in all those local government offices. An act of 1913 required marking commodities sold in packages. Although Internal Affairs was the Bureau's home, this 1913 law made the Bureau's chief, not the Secretary of Internal Affairs, the directing executive. In 1921 the Bureau was required to pass on each type of weighing and measuring device; in 1921 it was required to license coal and solid fuel weight masters; in 1959 it was ordered to enforce metered ticket sales on fuel oil trucks; and in 1961 it had to license the weight master of all bulk commodities. In 1941 merchants were required to have all their measuring devices in full view of purchasers, and enforcement was shared by Internal Affairs and county and city inspectors. National Bureau of Standards Handbook 44 (1955) was adopted by the General Assembly in 1956, and enforcement again given to Internal Affairs. The Weights and Measures Act of 1965 further expanded the enforcement duties of the Bureau. It regulated the sale of all commodities, required net weight to be shown, permitted the metric system to be used, and restricted deceptive packaging and labeling. Upon the termination of the Dept. of Internal Affairs (1966-1968) the Bureau was transferred to the Dept. of Justice. In 1973 it was transferred from Justice to the Dept. of Agriculture.

Confusion arose when the Administrative Code gave the Dept. of Labor and Industry a Bureau of Industrial Standards. This was an investigative unit relating to occupational activities, a function quite distinct from Internal Affairs' Bureau of Standard Weights and Measures. Furthermore, the Dept. of Property and Supplies had a Division of Standards responsible for establishing standard specification for items used by units of State government. From 1929 to 1933 the Dept. included a Bureau of the State Aeronautic Commission; in 1933 this bureau was transferred to the Dept. of Revenue and renamed the Division of Aeronautics.

In 1919 the Dept. of Internal Affairs acquired the Bureau of Municipalities (later Municipal Affairs), by statutory mandate, from the Dept. of Labor and Industry. Its duties were redefined by the Municipalities Act of 1927 and the Administrative Code of 1929. It was to assist local units of government (cities, boroughs, and townships, not counties) in performing their responsibilities. It was also to produce statistical data helpful to local government for improving administration. It was authorized to assist in physical planning of municipalities, including traffic flow, location of buildings, parks, and playgrounds. By 1957 the physical planning work unit was designated the Division of City Planning and Architecture. Another Bureau goal was to work for standardization of municipal administration. The Municipalities Act of 1927 also made the Bureau the watchdog over municipal debts. This involved approving the formalities of bond issues, being certain that sinking funds existed, and preventing municipalities from exceeding constitutional debt limits. As a result of the Third Class City Optional Charter Law of 1957, a Clearing House was established in this Bureau specifically to assist those cities that have created charter commissions. Legislation in 1961 made the bureau the official register for all municipal earned income tax systems.

In a series of statutes signed between February 1, 1966 and December 18, 1968, the functions from the Secretary and the Dept. of Internal Affairs, which were abolished, were transferred to other agencies. Most of the functions went to the newly created Dept. of Community Affairs: Land Records Office, Board of Property, Bureau of Municipalities, Local Government budgets statistics, and the Pennsylvania Coordinates System. The Bureau of Standard Weights and Measures was transferred to the Dept. of Justice. The Bureau of Statistics was transferred to the Dept. of Commerce. The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey was transferred to the State Planning Board, then to the Dept. of Environmental Resources which was created in 1971. In 1995, with the breakup of the Dept. of Environmental Resources, it was transferred to the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources. The repeal of the constitutional authorization of the Secretary of Internal Affairs was accomplished by Constitutional Amendment Proposal 4-A, approved by the electorate on May 16, 1967

Office of the Secretary
The position of Secretary of Internal Affairs was created under the Constitution of 1874 to take over the responsibilities formerly exercised by the Surveyor General in the Land Office, supervise the new Bureau of Industrial Statistics, and receive annual reports from transportation, communication, and power companies. Under Act 69 of the Laws of 1874 (P.L. 135, Section 2), the Secretary was chosen by the voters in the general election held every fourth year and was commissioned by the Governor to a four-year term commencing the first Tuesday in May following the election. On November 7, 1961 voters approved an amendment to the Constitution that changed the commencement of the Secretary's term to the third Tuesday in January next following his election. The Secretary served as one of four members of the Board of Pardons, was Chairman of the Board of Property, and was also a member of the Pennsylvania Park and Harbor Commission of the City of Erie, the General State Authority, the State Highway and Bridge Authority, the State Council of Civil Defense, and the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority. The Secretary investigated corporations that were accused of infringing the bounds of their charters or infringing upon public rights and referred such cases of infringement to the Attorney General for litigation. The Secretary was also responsible for the Bureau of Mines until the Dept. of Mines was created as an independent agency in 1903 and also monitored the activities of private companies and charitable organizations. The repeal of the constitutional authorization of the position of Secretary of Internal Affairs was accomplished by Constitutional Amendment Proposal 4-A approved by the electorate on May 16, 1967. When the Dept. of Internal Affairs was abolished, its five major bureaus were transferred to other agencies. The Bureau of Standard Weights and Measures was placed into the Dept. of Justice, The Bureau of Statistics became part of the Dept. of Commerce, the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey was transferred to the State Planning Board (and then to the Dept. of Environmental Resources in 1971, and to the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources in 1995), and the Bureau of Land Records became part of the Dept. of Community Affairs (and then was placed into the Bureau of Archives and History of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission). In 2001, the functions of the Land Office were transferred to the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources while custody of the Land Office records remains with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Those records of the Dept. of Internal Affairs having to do with the activities of the Land Office will be found in the Records of the Land Office (RG-17)



ADMINISTRATIVE FILE
1964-1969
7 cartons
{series #14.1}


Grouped alphabetically by subject and arranged there under chronologically by date of correspondence.

The series contains correspondence, reports and miscellaneous papers relating to the activities of the Board of Pardons, Board pf Property, Bureau of Administration, Bureau of Land Records, Bureau of Publications and Information, Bureau of Standard Weights and Measures, Bureau of Statistics, and Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. Subjects covered include Action Housing, Inc., Appalachian Program, Automobiles, Inspectors' Performance Charts, Prosecutions, Weighmasters' Licenses Issued, Civil Rights and Disorders, Civil Service, Constitutional Convention, Legislation, Personnel, City of Erie Port Commission, Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, and Transfer of Bureau. Also present are folders labeled Secretary of Banking, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of the Commonwealth, Secretary of Labor and Industry, Secretary of Mines and Mineral Industries, South Eastern Pennsylvania Authority (SEPTA), State Council of Civil Defense, Institute for Oceanography, Insurance Commissioner, Manpower Advisory Committee Milk Control Commission, Office of Administration, Office of the Attorney General, and Manpower Development Task Force.



Biennial Report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs William S. Livengood, Jr., to the General Assembly
July 10, 1941
0.25 cu. ft.
accession #3946
unprocessed




Bureau of Statistics
Under the Act of 1874, the Bureau of Industrial Statistics was granted extensive power "to inquire into the relations of capital and labor in their bearings upon social, educational, and industrial welfare of all classes of working people and to offer practical suggestions for improving the same." The Act provided for mandatory disclosure of statistical data by private firms and authorized use of subpoena in the event of noncompliance. The Bureau of Vital Statistics was established in 1885 by the statute that created the Dept. of Health and required the Secretary of Internal Affairs to furnish "apartments and stationary" in the Capitol and maintain custody of the vital statistics collected. Until 1905, the salaries of clerical workers collecting vital statistics were charged to the Dept. of Internal Affairs and thereafter to the Dept. of Health. By 1965, the Bureau of Statistics supplied general statistical information to members of the General Assembly, agencies at all levels of government, planning and promotional groups, research organizations, educational institutions, and the general public. The Bureau annually published the Pennsylvania Statistical Abstract and collected annual censuses of manufacturers, public utilities, and municipal authorities. Every third year, it also published the Industrial Directory of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with supplements appearing in the intervening years. The Bureau of Statistics was transferred to the Dept. of Commerce in 1968.



ANNUAL CENSUS REPORTS OF MANUFACTURED, MIXED, AND NATURAL GAS COMPANIES
1956-1965
1 carton
{series #14.5}

Arranged chronologically by year and therein grouped by type of company.

This series has annual census reports required to be filed by manufactured, mixed and natural gas companies with the Dept. of Internal Affairs under the provisions of the Act of April 20, 1921 (P.L. 193). Specific information available here includes date report was filed, type of gas supplied, name and address of company, names of all counties served by company, names and addresses of any other utilities from which gas was purchased and the volume purchased for each, total amount of gas in storage on the first and last day of preceding year, total volume of all underground storage areas, total volume of all tank storage areas, total volume of any other storage areas, name and volume of each individual storage area, area in acres of each individual storage area, revenue and sales for preceding year, revenue and expenses for preceding year, average employment and total wages paid for preceding year, volume of water intake from other than public water systems in Pennsylvania, and the name and address of the company treasurer.


ANNUAL CENSUS REPORTS OF WATER UTILITIES
1956-1965
4 cartons
{series #14.8}


Arranged chronologically by year and therein grouped by type of company.

The series has the annual census reports required to be filed by water utilities with the Dept. of Internal Affairs under the provisions of the Act of April 20, 1921 (P.L. 193). Information provided is date report was filed, name and address of utility, names of officers if private utility company and names persons on governing board if a public utility, value of bonds issued, balance sheet for operating revenues, the volume of impounding and distribution reservoirs, and a breakdown of purchased and non-purchased water derived from streams, lakes, springs and wells. Also provided is a breakdown of revenue and expenses for preceding year, average employment and total wages paid for preceding year, and the name and address of the company treasurer.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF CANAL AND NAVIGATION COMPANIES TO THE AUDITOR GENERAL AND THE DEPT. OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
1859, 1862-1871, 1873-1875, 1877-1935
2 cartons & 1 box
{series #14.9}

Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of company.

The series features the annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by canal and navigation companies. Information provided is date of return, name of company, summary of expenses, payments on account for construction, names and addresses of officers, breakdown of stock and debt, cost of canal and fixtures, description of the characteristics of the canal, tonnage carried during the year, amount of freight shipped, rate of toll charged for the respective classes, and expenses and receipts for the year.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF MANUFACTURED GAS COMPANIES
1931-1936, 1939-1955
3 cartons
{series #14.10}

Arranged chronologically by year and therein grouped by type of company.

In this series are annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by manufactured gas companies. Information provided is date of report, name and address of home office, amount of capital invested in Pennsylvania, names and addresses of officers, rate schedule, estimated population in area served, average number of male and female employees, total wages and salaries paid to male and female employees, and a breakdown of natural gas production by county. A breakdown is provided for the volume and value of each type of gas and gas byproduct manufactured. These include:

  • carbonized coal in net tons
  • coke products in net tons
  • tar products in net tons
  • water gas produced in millions of cubic feet
  • coke oven gas produced in millions of cubic feet
  • still gas produced in millions of cubic feet
  • ammonia products in pounds
  • benzyl products in pounds
  • naphthalene produced in pounds
  • gas imported into Pennsylvania in millions of cubic feet
  • gas sold outside Pennsylvania in millions of cubic feet
  • Statistical breakdowns of gas sales, length and dimensions of transmission lines, and a list of the cities, towns and political subdivisions served.


ANNUAL REPORTS OF MUNICIPAL WATER AUTHORITIES
1949-1955
1 carton & 1 box
{series #14.12}


Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of authority.
Annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by municipal water utilities are within this series. Information provided is date of report, name and address of water utility, names and addresses of principal officers, number of customers served, names of counties served, estimated population of territory served, rate schedule for users, how customers were billed, quarterly statements of financial condition, income statement, statistical breakdown of metered and unmetered water sales, employment statistics, and description of the physical property.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF MUNICIPAL WATER SYSTEMS,
1931-1935, 1939-1955.
10 cartons
{series #14.13}


Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of company.

These are annual reports filed with the Dept. of Internal Affairs by municipal water systems. Information provided is date of report, name of respondent making the report, address of home office, names and addresses of officers, location of water plant, estimate of population in territory served, rate schedule, and a statistical breakdown of water sales.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF NATURAL GAS COMPANIES
1931-1936, 1939-1955
9 cartons
{series #14.14}

Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of company.

These are annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by natural gas companies. Information provided is date of report, name and address of home office, amount of capital invested in Pennsylvania, names and addresses of officers, rate schedule, estimated population in area served, average number of male and female employees, total wages and salaries paid to male and female employees, and a breakdown of natural gas production by county. The natural gas production breakdown by county gives the number of acres owned, the number of acres under lease, the number of gas wells owned and operated, the number of million cubic feet of gas purchased, the number of million cubic feet of gas produced, the number of productive wells drilled, the of non-productive wells drilled, the number of gas wells abandoned, the number of million cubic feet exchanged with other companies, the number of wells sold, the number of million cubic feet of gas imported to Pennsylvania, and the number of million cubic feet exported from Pennsylvania. Also given are statistical breakdowns of gas sales, length and dimensions of transmission lines, and a list of the cities, towns and political subdivisions served.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF PRIVATE AND MUNICIPAL ELECTRIC LIGHT, HEAT AND POWER COMPANIES AND STEAM HEAT COMPANIES
1931-1965
7 cartons
{series #14.16}


Arranged chronologically by year and therein grouped by type of company.

These are annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by private and municipal electric light, heat and power companies and steam heat companies. Information provided is date of report, name and address of electric utility, names of counties served, form of ownership, breakdown of investment in electric plant, breakdown of installed capacity (steam generation, hydro-generation, and internal combustion generation), and the fuel consumption and kilowatt-hour production by type of fuel (anthracite coal, bituminous coal, lignite, fuel oil, gas and hydroelectric production). Also given is a breakdown of operating revenue and sales data for the preceding year (residential, rural, commercial, industrial, public street and highway lighting and railway and street railway). Finally, there is a breakdown of revenue and expenses for the preceding year, average employment and total wages paid for the preceding year, water intake during the preceding year other than from public water systems, and name and address of person to be contacted concerning contents of the report.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF PRIVATE WATER COMPANIES
1931-1936, 1938-1955
17 cartons
{series #14.17}

Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of company.

These are annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by private water companies. Information provided is date of report, name and address of company, names and addresses of corporate officers, names of cities and political subdivisions served, location of plant, estimated population of territory served, statistical breakdown on numbers of each type of consumer, number of gallons furnished, revenue derived from sales, total amount of investment, operating revenue and expenses for preceding year, type of system, type of reservoir, whether chemicals or filtration was used and the length of the distribution system..



ANNUAL REPORTS OF SEWER SYSTEMS
1952-1965
2 cartons
{series #14.20}

Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of sewer utility.

These are the annual reports submitted to the Dept. of Internal Affairs by sewer utilities. Information provided is date of report, name and address of the utility, area served, type of ownership, total investment in sewer plant, capital expenditure for preceding year, average employment and total wages paid for preceding year, a breakdown of billed revenue (residential, commercial, industrial and public) and a total breakdown of revenue and expenses for the preceding year.



ANNUAL REPORTS OF WATER, LIGHT, HEAT, AND POWER COMPANIES,
1921-1922, 1925, 1927-1930
3 cartons
{series #14.22}

Arranged chronologically by year and arranged there under alphabetically by name of company.

These are the annual reports filed with the Dept. of Internal Affairs by water, light, heat and power companies. Information provided is name and address of home office of respondent, amount of capital invested in Pennsylvania, names and addresses of officers, estimated population of territory served, average number of employees in Pennsylvania and the wages paid. For water systems the information provided is number of customers, amount furnished, average price per 1,000 gallons, and revenue derived. For Electricity-Light, Electricity-Heat, and Electricity-Power Companies information given is number of consumers, number of kilowatt-hours supplied, average price per kilowatt-hour, and revenue derived. For steam heat companies information provided is number of consumers, number of pounds of condensation supplied, average price per 1,000 pounds of condensation, and revenue derived.



Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey
The First Geological Survey of Pennsylvania authorized by the General Assembly commenced in 1836 and resulted in the publication of The Geology of Pennsylvania by State Geologist Henry Darwin Rogers (Harrisburg: 1858). The Second Geological Survey headed by J. Peter Lesley commenced in 1874 and resulted in a series of published reports issued through 1889. The Third Geological Survey occurred in the period 1899-1919 and the Fourth Geological Survey commencing in 1919 eventually resulted in the publication of The Geology of Pennsylvania edited by Charles H. Shultz (Harrisburg: 1999). The Bureau of Topographic and Geological Survey was created by the Act of the General Assembly approved June 17, 1919 (P. L. 420) providing for the appointment by the Governor of a State Geologist who, with the approval of the Secretary of Internal Affairs, appointed other employees of the Bureau.

From 1919 to 1923 the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey in the Dept. of Internal Affairs was responsible for conducting a thorough survey of the geology and topography of the state and preparing maps showing the type of rock found beneath the surface in each region. It also conducted studies of individual mineral commodities and published the results of laboratory examinations of rocks encountered during field studies. Topographic mapping, groundwater studies, and mineral resource studies were conducted in cooperation with the United States Geologic Survey and the results of these studies have also been published. The Bureau provided general geologic and topographic information to the public and technical information concerning geologic and groundwater problems to local governments and many state agencies.

The Bureau was transferred to the Dept. of Forests and Waters when that agency was created in 1923 but was returned to the Dept. of Internal Affairs in 1927. Under Act 610 of 1956, the Bureau began issuing licenses to well drillers and collected ground water information from the drillers. When the Dept. of Internal Affairs was abolished, the Bureau was transferred to the State Planning Board in 1968, then to the Dept. of Environmental Resources in 1971. With the breakup of the Dept. of Environmental Resources in 1995, the Bureau was transferred to the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources where it carries on most of the same functions for which it was responsible in the Dept. of Internal Affairs.


ACCOUNTS OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1875-1877
3 folders/ microfilm # 3420
{series #14.28}

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

The series is comprised ot monthly account reports for transportation, subsistence, expressage and postage, and equipment expenditures approved by the state geologist for the Second Geological Survey. Information provided is voucher number, date, name of person to whom paid, draft number, total amount paid for month per district, monthly salary and expenditures, and the date, description, and amount of expenditure.



COUNTY GEOLOGICAL MAPS OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY,
1878-1884
1 volume; microfilm #s 3419-3420
{series #14.29}


Arranged alphabetically by name of county.

The series contains published geological color-coded maps of each county prepared by the Second Geological Survey in 1884. The front of the volume contains a skeleton geological map for the entire state. Information provided includes the names of towns and townships, railroad lines, rivers and streams, and contours of geological formations.



DIARY OF CHARLES ASHBURNER, ASSISTANT TO THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1876
1 volume/microfilm #3420
{series #14.30}


Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

This is a diary kept by Board of Commissioners' Assistant Charles Ashburner in McKean and Elk Counties. Information provided is date and time of entry, brief descriptions of his daily activities and the names of persons whom he met from his departure from Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 12, 1876 to the afternoon of October 15, 1876.



FIELD EXPENSE ACCOUNT BOOK OF CHARLES ASHBURNER AND A. W. SHEAFER OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1879
1 volume/ microfilm #4320{series #14.31}


Grouped by type of expense and arranged there under chronologically by date of entry.
This is a field expense account book containing daily entries from August 7 through October 30, 1879 for transportation, sustenance, equipment, and postage expenses for McKean District Assistant Charles Ashburner reimbursed by A. W. Sheafer. Information includes date of expenditure, a brief description of the nature and amount of the expenditure.



FIELD NOTE BOOKS OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1875
4 volumes/ microfilm roll #3420
{series #14.32}


Arranged chronologically by date of entry.

Indexed internally alphabetically by township.

These are field notebooks for fieldwork conducted in Fayette, Westmoreland, Greene and Washington Counties. Information provided is date of entry, township and location of record, and description and thickness of geological formation measured.


GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1874-1885
23 folders/microfilms #3418-3420
{series #14.33}


Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

This is the correspondence file of the Board of Commissioners of the Second Geological Survey. Information provided is date of correspondence, name of correspondent, and subject of correspondence.




GRAND ATLAS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1879
6 volumes
accession # 1015
unprocesseed


The atlases are in poor condition due to water and rodent damage.




GRAND ATLAS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1884-1885
6 volumes
{series #14.34}


Grouped by region or type of map and arranged there under numerically by map number.

A grand atlas of the Second Pennsylvania Geological Survey depicting anthracite coalfields, central and southeastern divisions, geological maps, petroleum and bituminous coal, and South Mountain and Great Valley topographical maps.




BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
MINUTES
1874-1876 & UNDATED
1 volume, 1 folder/ microfilm #3418
{series #14.35}


Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

These are the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Commissioners of the Second Geological Survey. Information provided is date of meeting, names of those present, and a description of the business transacted.




PUBLICATION PLATES OF THE SECOND GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
1875-1880
6 items/ microfilm #3420
{series #14.36}


Unarranged.

These are metal printing plates used for title pages of geological survey publications on Clinton, Juniata and McKean Counties and on the general mineralogy of Pennsylvania. Information provided on most plates is title of publication, names of commissioners and authors, and date of publication.




RG-20
RECORDS OF THE GENERAL STATE AUTHORITY

 

Secretary of General Services
The Dept. of General Services is the central construction, purchasing, publishing, and maintenance agency for the Commonwealth. This Dept. was created by Act 45 of 1975 that combined the duties of the Dept. of Property and Supplies and the General State Authority (GSA). Established by the Act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177), the Dept. of Property and Supplies was the service and purchasing agency for all other state dept.s, agencies, boards, commissions, and other divisions of state government. The General State Authority was created by the Act of March 31, 1949 (P.L. 372). (The earlier GSA that was created by the Act of June 28, 1935 (P.L. 452), was repealed by the Act of May 18, 1945 (P.L. 641)) The purpose of the Authority under the 1949 Act was to construct, improve, equip, furnish, maintain, acquire, and operate a wide rage of public works, including all state buildings, institutions, airports, state-aided schools, and municipal exhibition halls. Prior to 1968, GSA projects were financed by the sale of General State Authority Bonds. The Act of July 22, 1975 (No. 45) that created the Dept. of General Services on October 20, 1975 transferred to the new Dept. the powers and duties of the former Dept. of Property and Supplies and the General State Authority with the exception that the Authority continued to function as an independent public corporation until the outstanding debt from the bond proceeds spent is retired.

The Secretary of General Services is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the majority of the Senate. He is an ex officio member of the governing bodies of the General State Authority, the State Public School Building Authority, the Pennsylvania Transportation Assistance Authority and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority. He is Insurance Broker of Record for the Commonwealth and Secretary to the Board of Commissioners of Public Grounds and Buildings. The organizational units of the Dept. of General Services are grouped into five functional areas: executive, administrative, procurement, central services, and public works. These latter areas report to, respectively, the Secretary and deputy secretaries for Administration, Procurement, General Services and Public Works.

Bureau of Press and Publications
Originally known as the Public Information and Publications Office when the Dept. of General Services was created in 1975, the Bureau of Press and Publications was responsible for preparing news releases and other information intended for use by the public, and editing all departmental publications, including the Pennsylvania Manual, the Commonwealth Telephone Directory and the Directory of State Publications. This Bureau later became the Bureau of Publications and Paperwork Management that administers a centralized management program for all government communications in the print medium, including publishing, printing and forms management and oversees in-house printing and design and typesetting service. It manages the Commonwealth's STD Common-Use Forms Program, maintains inventory of state forms, and ensures forms are in compliance with Commonwealth standards. It also performs liaison duties with estimators and vendors, and helps to resolve publishing problems, obtains estimates for printing and paper costs for in-house and commercial printing and coordinates production of publications between the design and printing areas.



PUBLIC INFORMATION FILE,
1971-1979.
(6 cartons)
{series #20.6}

Grouped by category and there under arranged chronologically by date of document.

This series contains transcripts of speeches and news releases issued by the Dept. of General Services together with correspondence and news clippings relating to the Select Committee to Investigate State Contract Practices. The following are speeches relating to environmental issues:

  • Mount Holly Springs Flood Project, May 11, 1976
  • Energy Management Program, May 3, 1977
  • School Energy Conservation Program in Bethlehem, October 5, 1977
  • Pennsylvania Environmental and Energy Seminar, undated



Commonwealth Media Services
Commonwealth Media Services centrally accommodates all state agencies' needs for audio, video and photographic services, and operates the central television studio, the Capitol media center, and the central photographic laboratory.



AUDIO TAPES OF GOVERNOR DICK THORNBURGH'S INTERVIEWS
ca. 1986
(4 tapes)
{series #20.39}

Unarranged.

This series has audio tapes recorded for National Public Radio at local public broadcasting station WITF-FM concerning the Three Mile Island accident and one undated tape concerning tourism in Pennsylvania. Richard Thornburgh served as Governor of Pennsylvania from 1979 to 1987. Among the events that that occurred during his tenure as governor was the March 28, 1979 accident at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. As a result of an equipment malfunction and operator error, the Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor core experienced a partial core meltdown and the release of radioactive steam into the external environment. As a precaution, Governor Thornburgh ordered the evacuation of pregnant women and pre-school children living within a five-mile radius of the plant. This event remains the most serious commercial nuclear accident in the history of the United States.




FILMS OF ROADS, ENVIRONMENT, FLOODS OF 1955 & 1972 ETC.
14 cu. ft.
accession #1862
unprocessed




FILMS
Undated
3 film canisters

  • "Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful"
  • "Highway Maintenance in Pennsylvania"
  • "Interstate 80 Keystone Shortway"


GOVERNOR'S PHOTOGRAPHIC FILES
1989-1995
26 cu. ft.
accession # 2484
unprocessed


These files are comprised of images mainly from the Thornburgh administration although there are items that relate to the administrations of Governors Scranton and Casey as well. Of special interest here are the "scenic historic files from PENNDOT."



Department of Property and Supplies, 1923-1975
Established by the Act of April 9, 1929 (P.L. 177), the Dept. of Property and Supplies was the service and purchasing agency for all other state dept.s, agencies, boards, commissions, and other divisions of state government. The Secretary of Property and Supplies appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate was the chief administrative officer of the Dept.. The Dept. was organized by its three major functions: Procurement, State Properties, and Central Services. Each of these was supervised by a Deputy Secretary who assisted the Secretary in formulating, developing, and administering the policies, programs, and functions of the Dept.. The Deputy Secretary for Procurement was responsible for the three Bureaus of Purchases, Publications, and Automotive, as well as the Division of Surplus State Property. The Deputy Secretary for State Properties administered the Bureaus of Grounds and Buildings, Real Estate and Insurance, and Engineering and Construction. The Deputy Secretary for Central Services was responsible for the Bureaus of Administrative Services, General Services, Surplus Foods, and Surplus Federal Property. The Bureaus of Central Electronic Data Processing, Standards, the Legal Unit, and the Public Relations Unit were under the direct jurisdiction of the Secretary of Property and Supplies.



MINUTES OF PENNSYLVANIA BITUMINOUS COAL PRODUCERS,
1939.
(1 folder)
{series #20.22}

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

These are minutes of the meeting of Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Producers held at the invitation of the Bureau of Standards in the Dept. of Property and Supplies on May 3, 1939 for the purpose of revising Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Specification C-33, Bituminous Coal. This is accompanied by

  • A tentative draft of the specification of March 20, 1939 as revised at the conference
  • Copy of Public Law 48 of the 75th Congress [Chapter 127, First Session] [H.R. 4987]
  • An Act to Regulate Interstate Commerce in Bituminous Coal, and other purposes;
  • Findings of Facts and Conclusions of the National Bituminous Coal Commission" of the United States Dept. of the Interior In Re: [Docket No. 15]
  • Minimum Prices and Marketing Rules and Regulations as Proposed to the National Bituminous Coal Commission by the District Boards for Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and that part of District 13 comprising Van Buren, Warren and McMinn Counties, Tennessee, All Within Minimum Price Area 1, in Compliance with Orders Nos. 247, 248, and 251 issued by the Commission under and by virtue of the authority granted by Section 4 II (a) of the Bituminous Coal Act of 1937.


MISCELLANEOUS REPORTS OF THE DEPT. AND OTHER STATE AGENCIES,
1930-1943, 1958.
(20 folders, 10 volumes)
{series #20.26}

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

In this series are miscellaneous reports on a variety of subjects including the Local Government Committee, General State Authority. the Research and Records Program, Bureau of Publications, Capitol Grounds Extension, Eastern State Penitentiary, Executive Mansion, Aerial Defense, State Art Commission, and the Work Program of the Works Progress Administration. Items of interest to environmental historians include records of the Delaware River Basin circa 1930. The records consist of one volume entitled "The Bridge over the Delaware River," and another volume dated 1927 which is the 1927 report of the Delaware River Joint Commission. There is also a folder from 1939 dealing with the Public Utility Commission.



RG-25
RECORDS OF SPECIAL COMMISSIONS


The records of temporary independent commissions have been placed in one record group. These commissions were temporary since they were created to perform a specific function and then go out of existence. They were independent in that they were not established as a dependent commission under the purview of an on-going executive dept.. As can be readily ascertained from their names, these commissions were formed to serve primarily as investigatory or planning bodies, or as vehicles to erect public monuments and promote the official commemoration of historic events.
Over the years more than a hundred temporary special commissions were created by acts of the General Assembly to function as independent administrative bodies for limited periods of time under the jurisdiction of the Governor. Their life spans were determined by the amount of time required for them to fulfill their purposes. The typical commission consisted of some combination of private citizens appointed by the Governor, members from either or both the House and Senate, the Speaker of the House, the President pro-tempore of the Senate, and certain heads of state agencies whose functions were related to the purpose for which the commission was created. Special commissions generally met upon the call of their chairmen or presidents and operated under a set of prescribed rules and regulations. Some commissions possessed the power to subpoena witnesses, books and papers. Special commissions generally submitted final written reports on their activities to the Governor and the General Assembly. Special Commissions with records pertaining to environmental history are:

  • Commission for the Investigation and Control of the Chestnut Tree Blight
  • Pennsylvania Commission on Three Mile Island
  • State Forest Commission
  • Johnstown Flood Relief Commission
  • Interstate Commission on the Delaware River Basin

Commission for the Investigation and Control of the Chestnut Tree Blight Disease in Pennsylvania
During the early decades of the twentieth century, American chestnut trees were being destroyed by a Chestnut Tree Blight Disease that spread from New York into Pennsylvania in 1908. The blight was caused by a parasitic fungus called Diaporthe parasitioa that grows easily in the bark and wood of all native American chestnut trees. Subsequent research suggested that the blight might have been introduced to this country by importation of pure strains of infected Japanese chestnut trees that were able to overcome the effects of the disease without themselves suffering serious damage. In response to this unexpected ravage, on June 14, 1911 the General Assembly established the Chestnut Tree Blight Disease Commission and appropriated $275,000 to deal with the problem. At its first meeting held on July 5, 1911, the Commission elected a chairman and secretary and appointed an executive officer to take charge of the work. Operating from offices in the Morris Building in Philadelphia, the Commission was charged with finding the most efficient and practical means for preventing, controlling, and eradicating the disease. It began its work by sending a large force of experts into the field and conducting comprehensive laboratory tests, quarantining nursery stocks, and providing educational programs across the state. Unable to achieve its objectives, the Commission was terminated at the end of 1913 when the legislature failed to appropriate additional funds.


ACCOUNTS
[ca. 1911-1914]
2 boxes
{series #25.117}


Arranged chronologically by date of expenditure.

These are account books providing a breakdown of the expenditures of the Chestnut Tree Blight Commission. Information provided is date of entry, voucher number, type of expenditure (scientific research, office furniture, field equipment, travel expenses, office salaries, office expenses, or field salaries) and amount for each, total covered by voucher, and the amounts paid from the scientific research fund and from the general fund.



GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
[ca. 1911-1914]
1 folder
{series #25.118}


Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

In this series are copies of correspondence by the Chestnut Tree Blight Commission together with newspaper clippings. Information provided is date of correspondence, name of correspondent, and details concerning interactions with agencies in other states and the Long Island Railroad Company among others concerning the progress of efforts to fight the disease. Also present are reprints of publications including The New Chestnut Bark Disease by Deputy Commissioner of Forestry I. C. Williams (September 29, 1911), Fighting the Chestnut Blight S. B. Detweiler (undated), The Chestnut Blight, Speech of Hon. J. Hampton Moore of Pennsylvania in the House of Representatives (March 7, 1912); The Chestnut Bark Disease on Chestnut Fruits by J. Franklin Collins (December 12, 1918).


MINUTES
[ca. 1911-1914]
5 folders
{series #25.119}

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

The series contains the minutes of the meetings of the Chestnut Tree Blight Commission. Information provided is date of meeting, names of those present, results of elections of officers, record of vouchers approved and orders paid, and description of business transacted. Also present are lists of the names and addresses of fire wardens and county work summaries giving number of days worked, number of acres of timber, and number of acres infected.


PHOTOGRAPHS
1911-1914
6 boxes
{series #25.120}


Arranged numerically by photograph number. [Following paragraph is quoted from Linda Ries' book, Guide to the Photographs of the Pennsylvania State Archives.]

Records include 774 photographs taken between April 1912 and November 1913 relating to the study of chestnut blight. The prints, taken by photographers hired especially by the Commission, are 5x7 mounted on heavy board containing negative number, subject, location and date. Views show affected trees all over the state, close-ups and microphotographs of the blight, and attempts at treatment and control.


PROCEEDINGS OF THE CHESTNUT TREE BLIGHT DISEASE CONFERENCE
[ca. 1912]
1 folder
{series #25.121}


Arranged chronologically by date of conference.

In this series is a stenographic record of the Proceedings of the Conference Called by the Governor of Pennsylvania for Preventing the Spread of the Chestnut Tree Blight Disease that was held in the chamber of the House of Representatives on February 20 and 21, 1912 as reported by Guilbert & Lewis, 519 Land Title Building, Philadelphia. The record is accompanied by the printed "Resolutions Adopted at the Chestnut Tree Bark Disease Conference at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, February 21, 1912."
A subseries within this series is a group of photographs taken circa 1912. They are mounted black and white prints made from lantern slide negatives. Arranged by negative number, some but not all are identified by place. The images document three topics:

  • Photographs of trees before and after conservation treatment. The images frequently name the chemical products or substances utilized such as O'Brien's Tree Varnish, Ryan's Preparation, Mulford's Kreol, makris wash, naphtha, Aspinwall's Spray, coal ashes, and lime sulphur wash.
  • Close-up shots of surgical treatment of trees feature bark infection, diseased foliage, dead trees, and destruction by ants. Some images of tree surgical tools are included.
  • "Landscape" shots of orchards, non-chestnut trees, and forests, both healthy and diseased.


REPORTS AND SPECIAL STUDIES
[ca. 1911-1914]
7 folders
{series #25.122}

Arranged chronologically by date of report.

These are reports, special studies, and district reports illustrated with maps and photographs submitted by Chestnut Tree Blight Commission staff. The reports are by the following authors:

  • R. C. Walton: Investigation of an Advance Spot of Infection at Orbisonia, Huntingdon County (July 1, 1912), Report on Experimental Work at Emilie, Bucks County; Ambler, Montgomery County; and Balley Forge, Chester County (July 1, 1912,
  • Milo R. Clare: Experiments Carried on between April 19 and June 1, 1912 at Mt. Gretna, Preliminary Report on Birds in Relation to the Spread of the Blight (July 1, 1912);
  • Keller E. Rockey: Plan of Campaign of Educational Work and List of Meetings Held (July 1, 1912), Two Translations of Russian Articles on the Nutrition and Cure of Diseased Trees by Means of Injecting Fluids Into Living Tissue (undated);
  • Paul J. Anderson: Plans of the Work to be Carried Out at Mt. Gretna (July 1, 1912), Plans of the Work to be Carried Out at Charter Oak (July 1, 1912), Plans of the Work to be Carried Out at Connellsville (July 1, 1912), and A Printed Copy of the Report of the Chestnut Blight Conference Held at Harrisburg, February 20-21, 1912.
  • Districts across the state reporting acreage of timberland for each county affected, type of forests and conditions and number of acres infected.
    The special studies consist of articles and publications including:
  • Bibliography of the Chestnut Tree Blight Fungus by U. S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Pathologist R. Kent Beattie (Harrisburg: 1914)
  • Diseases of the Chestnut and Other Trees by Dr. Haven Metcalf (Boston: 1912);
  • Agriculture Appropriation Bill Hearing Before A Subcommittee of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, United States Senate, on H.R. 18960, April 13, 1912 (Washington, D.C.: 1912)
  • Agriculture Appropriation Bill Hearings Before the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, Bureau of Plant Industry, December 12 and 13, 1911 (Washington, D.C.: 1911)
  • Issues of the Long Island Agronomist dated June 17, 1908 and July 29, 1908.
  • "Report of Preliminary Investigations of Conditions around Lynchburg, Va." By W. H. Rankin (February 7, 1912).
    Photographs illustrate many subjects including the effects on Mycelium treated with chlorine and not treated with chlorine, new sprouts on unpeeled buried chestnut tree stumps, unpeeled logs from diseased trees left in the woods, healthy growth if sprouts around creosoted stumps, cutting out a spot of infection in the forest, marking of a diseased tree, and infection on stumps and trees following cutting. There is also a list of photographs and negatives held by the Pennsylvania Blight Commission Laboratory.

Pennsylvania Commission on Three Mile Island (TMI)
On March 28, 1979 a series of failures of valves, pumps and gauges at Metropolitan Edison's Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, combined with errors by operators of the plant, resulted in the most serious commercial nuclear accident up to that time. A drop in the water level in the pressure vessel caused a third of the reactor core to be exposed and the exposed portion of the core overheated and partially disintegrated, releasing radioactive materials into the cooling water and generating a bubble of hydrogen gas at the top of the containment structure. Low levels of iodine 131 were also released into the atmosphere. The Pennsylvania Commission on Three Mile Island was established by Governor Richard Thornburgh under Executive Order 1979-3 to investigate the causes of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. Chaired by Lieutenant Governor William W. Scranton III, the Commission cooperated with the President's Commission on Three Mile Island established by President Jimmy Carter to investigate the accident and make recommendations in the aftermath of the crisis. For related materials see also the Harold and Lucinda Denton Papers, 1978-1999 (MG-471), Records of the Public Utility Commission (RG-37).



DEPARTMENT FILES
1979-1980
3 boxes
{series #25.169}


Grouped alphabetically by name of dept. and arranged there under chronologically by date of document.

This series has reports and plans prepared at the request of Governor Richard Thornburgh by state government dept.s regarding the accident at Three Mile Island. Information provided varies with somewhat according to the nature of each dept. but generally includes date of report, description of actions taken or proposed actions and recommendations for the future.




FIRST THIRTY DAYS
1979
2 boxes
{series #25.138}


Arranged chronologically by date of record.

This series contains newspaper clippings, press releases, telegrams, and memoranda chronicling unfolding daily events during the first thirty days after the accident. Included is a summary of the events occurring during the first thirty days and Western Union telegrams sent to Governor Richard Thornburgh from concerned citizens urging immediate evacuation of the area surrounding the plant.



LEGISLATIVE SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS
1979-1980
1 box
{series #25.139}


Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Within this series are legislative subcommittee reports, memoranda, and notes concerning the economic impact, emergency management, environmental, health, and legal aspects of the Three Mile Island accident. Subjects addressed are reactions of dept. heads addressed and programs for recovery. The series was created in the office of William W. Scranton who served as Lieutenant Governor during the accident.



MISCELLANEOUS,
1979-1980
4 boxes
{series #25.140}

Arranged alphabetically by subject title.

Here are miscellaneous reports generated by various federal and state government commissions concerning the accident at Three Mile Island. These include testimony of Governor Richard Thornburgh, the General Public Utilities Economic Impact Report, Three Mile Island 1 Hearings, Nuclear Regulatory Commission reports, and the report of the Pennsylvania Commission on Three Mile Island.



PRESS RELATED PUBLICATIONS
1970-1981
3 boxes
{series #25.141}


Arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Publications, memoranda, reports, and newspaper clippings concerning the Three Mile Island Accident are in this series. The documents provide a general overview of the accident and of the nuclear industry in general including nuclear terrorism, the national nuclear debate, public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania regarding the Three Mile Island Accident and its aftermath, and financial fallout including property tax implications.



PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTS
1977-1981
9 boxes
{series #25.142}


Arranged chronologically by date of publication or report.

The series contains publications and reports collected by the Commission on various aspects of the nuclear industry and the Three Mile Island nuclear facility. The reports were issued by the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania government agencies, and private experts in nuclear technology. Specific subjects include information on how a nuclear reactor works, the Technical Staff Analysis Report on the Radiation Health Effects Task Group, and investigative reports on the Three Mile Island accident and local governments. Among these are the Report submitted by Commission Chairman John Kemeny, a 1977 interim acceptance plan for physical security at nuclear power plants, a 1979 Cumberland County evacuation plan, and a 1979 Dauphin County action and response plan. Also present are news editorials, Legal Aspects of the Three Mile Island Accident, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Plan for Cleanup Operations at Three Mile Island Unit 2.


TRANSCRIPTS AND PROCEEDINGS,
1979
8 boxes
{series #25.143}


Arranged chronologically by date of proceeding.

These are transcripts of the proceedings of the President's Commission on Three Mile Island that was created by President Jimmy Carter that met from April 25 - October 22, 1979. This commission consisted of a panel of experts who were charged with investigating the causes and making recommendations in the aftermath of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. The type of information provided is date of hearing, names of those present, transcripts of the testimony and recommendations considered.


State Forestry Commission
A temporary State Forestry Commission was created by Concurrent Resolution 31 of the General Assembly approved by Governor James A. Beaver on April 28, 1887. It consisted of five members who were given a mandate to investigate the rapid depletion of state timberlands and to report their findings and recommendations to the 1889 session of the legislature. Washington Townsend chaired the Commission and the other members were William A. Burkhout, George O. Praetorius, George B. Wiestling, and L. F. Colt. Completing their task during the closing months of 1888, the State Forestry Commission submitted their final report to the General Assembly in January 1889. The commission also proposed a bill in the legislature creating a permanent forestry commission but it was defeated. Yet the commission won the attention of many conservationists in the Commonwealth, paving the way for a second and more successful forestry commission in 1893. For related materials about the 1893-1895 forest commission see the Records of the Department of Forests and Waters (RG-6).



COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' REPORTS
[ca. 1888]
1 folder
{series #25.144}


Arranged alphabetically by name of county.

The series is comprised of forestry reports filed by county commissioners for the counties of Allegheny, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Dauphin, Erie, Indiana, Juniata, Montour, Pike, Schuylkill, Union, and Wayne. Information provided is name of county, number of acres of forested land, number of acres heavily timbered, number of acres thinly timbered, comparison with quantity of forested land ten years before, number of acres of forest burned over during past year, value of loss due to fire, actions taken to recover damages from fires, and amount recovered. County commissioners were also asked to report whether land clearance had affected the climate or water supply and whether the county had any forestry legislation in place.



FINAL COMMISSION REPORT
1889
1 folder
{series #25.145}

In this final report submitted by the Commission to the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives, various subjects subjects like the amount of lumber used annually in different parts of the Commonwealth, the quantity of sills used for railway lines, and the state of forestry generally are discussed. Included is a copy of the state legislation that created the Commission.



GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
[ca. 1888]
1 folder
{series #25.146}

Arranged chronologically by date of correspondence.

The series has the correspondence exchanged between the State Forestry Commission with correspondents representing the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Illinois, Ohio State Forestry Bureau, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Massachusetts Agricultural College, Michigan Agricultural College, Vermont Marble Company, University of Minnesota Agricultural College Experiment Station, Indiana State Board of Agriculture among others.




MINUTES
1888-1889
1 folder
{series #25.147}

Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

In this series are minutes of meetings covering the period April 20, 1888 through January 16, 1889, records of incoming letter and reports, summaries of U. S. forest legislation and the duties of the committee, and photographs of the five commissioners.
Johnstown Flood Relief Commission
The General Assembly created the Johnstown Flood Relief Commission on June 12, 1889 to act as a vehicle for Governor James A. Beaver to distribute relief funds to alleviate suffering and rebuild after the devastating Johnstown flood. The Commission consisted of ten members representing relief committees throughout Pennsylvania who surveyed the entire flood district. As the plans of the Commission became known, funds from other general committees and many local communities in all parts of the country were placed in the Commission's hands for distribution.



REPORT OF THE SECRETARY OF THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD RELIEF COMMISSION
1889
l folder
{series #25.151}


Originally the property of J. B. Stauffer of Mechanicsburg, this published Report of the Secretary of the Flood Relief Commission Appointed to Distribute the Funds Contributed for the Relief of Sufferers in Pennsylvania by the Flood of May 31st and June 1st, 1889 (Harrisburg: 1890) was addressed to Governor James A. Beaver and provides a general overview of the destruction caused by the flooding across the state and in neighboring states. Information on flood damage covers in addition to Johnstown proper, the towns of Renovo, Lock Haven, Jersey Shore, Williamsport, Mifflintown, Lewistown, and Newport, and the counties of Union, Dauphin, Tioga, Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, Northumberland, Westmoreland, Clearfield, Fulton, and Centre. Breakdowns of expenditures are present for both the Governor's Fund and for private Contributions to the Flood Fund.


Interstate Commission on the Delaware River Basin
The mission of the Delaware River Basin Compact is to promote the conservation, utilization, development, management, and control of the water and related resources of the Delaware River Basin. The Interstate Commission on the Delaware River Basin (INCODEL) was authorized by reciprocal legislation passed in 1949 by the legislatures of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to make a survey to determine and report on the feasibility of constructing an integrated water project within the Delaware River Basin designed to meet the combined prospective water supply needs of the political subdivisions and metropolitan areas in the three states. The statute authorizing the survey in Pennsylvania was Act 475 of the Laws of 1949. The Commission today consists of the Governors of the signatory states (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York) and by one commissioner appointed by the President of the United States.



REPORTS
1950
4 volumes
{series #25.168}


Arranged chronologically by date of report.

Prominent items relating to environmental history include the following:

  • Preliminary Study Relative to Advisability of Future Construction of an Integrated Water Development Project, Consisting of a Series of Dams and Reservoirs on the Main Channel of the Delaware and Its Tributaries (December 31, 1948). This report advocated joint adoption of legislation by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York to regulate water supply use in the region. The report gives the history of the water supply problem and the Delaware from the 1920s up to 1948.
  • Preliminary Report of the Utilization of the Waters of the Delaware River Basin by Malcolm Pirnie Engineers - Albright and Friel, Inc, Consulting Engineers (January, 1950); Report of the Utilization of the Waters of the Delaware River Basin by Malcolm Pirnie Engineers - Albright and Friel, Inc, Consulting Engineers (August, 1950); Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations of the Consulting Engineer's Report on the Utilization of the Waters of the Delaware River Basin by Malcolm Pirnie Engineers - Albright and Friel, Inc, Consulting Engineers (September, 1950). These reports recommend storage of spring flood waters in reservoirs for release during dry month to increase river flow.
  • Also of interest is a letter dated January 13, 1951 from INCODEL to Governor James Duff urging him to support legislation giving states rather than the federal government control of the Delaware River.
  • There are also INCODEL annual reports for 1947 and 1948.

 



21ST CENTURY ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION
FINAL REPORT
1998
1 volume
accession # 2994
unprocessed



 

RG-29
RECORDS OF THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission was created in 1937 to construct, finance, operate and maintain a toll road which would connect the Harrisburg and Pittsburgh areas. The original section of the super-highway between Middlesex in Cumberland County and Irwin in Westmoreland County was completed in 1940. This route roughly followed the right-of-way of the South Pennsylvania Railroad, which had abandoned construction of its roadbed in 1885. The South Pennsylvania right-of-way was purchased by the Turnpike Commission, which also enabled it to utilize some of the original grading and tunneling done by the railroad. Construction of the highway was made possible by a grant from the Public Works Administration and the initial purchase of turnpike bonds by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
Eventually the Pennsylvania Turnpike was extended east to the Delaware River and west to the Ohio state line and a spur route was completed to Scranton in 1957. Further expansion of the Turnpike became unnecessary with the passage of the Federal Highway Act of 1956, which provided for a system of limited access highways to be funded primarily by the federal government. For related types of materials see the Records of the Dept. of Highways (RG12) and Records of the Dept. of Transportation (RG 52).



EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
1935-1941
(1 folder)
{series #29.1}

Arranged chronologically by date of document.

Included in this file is a seventeen-page report on the history of the South Pennsylvania Railroad, detailing the routes, grades, and construction procedures; a copy of a speech presented to state representatives on January 13, 1939; a copy of Resolution No. 138 given in the State House of Representatives on April 23, 1935; an essay on modern excavation methods for the Pennsylvania Turnpike; general correspondence; information on South Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnels (Laurel Hill, Blue Mountain, Ray's Hill, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, Sideling Hill, and Allegheny Mountain) including length, water capacity, and grade percentage; a tabulation of distances between interchanges and tunnels, and a history of Fort Ligonier.



TUNNEL PROFILE TRACINGS,
1937
(7 items)
{series #29.5}

Unarranged.

The series is comprised of fold-out grid tracings for the tunnels of the South Pennsylvania Railroad (Allegheny Mountain Tunnel, Laurel Hill Tunnel, Ray's Hill Tunnel, Sideling Tunnel, Twin Tunnels, and Tuscarora Tunnel). These blueprints show slopes and angles, cubic footage of materials to be used, length and width of the tunnel, division number and name, chief engineer and division engineer's name, and location and route of the tunnel.



HISTORY AND HERITAGE: MISCELLANEOUS HISTORICAL ITEMS RELATING TO THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE,
1939-1990
(1 carton)
{series #29.52}

Unarranged

The series contains historical documents and ephemera pertaining to the Pennsylvania Turnpike from 1939 to 1960. The miscellaneous carton sections frequently hold unique and typical business items, such as: postcards; specifications for the plumbing and drainage within written contracts; documentation of improvements; a booklet outlining the duties of a toll collector; a museum attraction consumer pamphlet; annual reports; and a volume about the maintenance of the turnpike. There are also folders about the construction of the Allegheny Laurel Hill and Tuscarora Mountain Tunnels.



MOTION PICTURE FILMS
CA. 1941-1965
4 16mm film reels
accession #3117
unprocessed

  • Film: "3x3: The Story of the Turnpike Tunnels," undated
  • Film: "Allegheny Tunnel" (1965)
  • Film: "Tunnel Construction" (1963)
  • Film: "Turnpike Construction (aerial views)" (1941)

Accession # 2162
16 mm film reels
unprocessed

  • "Mining the Turnpike Tunnels," (undated) 1 16mm film reel
  • "Turnpike Construction," (undated) 1 16mm film reel
  • "Tunneling the Alleghenies," 3 16mm file reels

RG-31
RECORDS OF THE DEPT. OF COMMERCE


The Dept. of Commerce was created in 1939 to promote development of business, industry, and commerce in the State. Under the original commerce legislation, the Pennsylvania State Publicity Commission was abolished and its function of attracting tourists to the Commonwealth was transferred to the Dept. as the Bureau of Travel Development and Business Services. The State Planning Board also became an administrative board within Commerce where it remained until 1955. In 1968 the Bureau of Statistics of the Dept. of Internal Affairs was assigned to the Dept. along with administrative responsibilities for the newly created Bicentennial Commission.
The Dept. of Commerce served industry and various community industrial development organizations by administering federal and State aid programs providing statistical information and technical assistance. Urban planning and redevelopment functions were transferred to the Dept. of Community Affairs in 1966. Under Act 58, in 1996 the Dept. of Commerce was merged with the Dept. of Community Affairs to form the Dept. of Community and Economic Development that is charged with assisting both businesses and communities to thrive in an emerging global economy.



Secretary
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
1954-1961, 1963-1965
(12 cartons)
{series #31.1}


Each carton is arranged alphabetically by subject.

This series has general correspondence between officers involved with "Pennsylvania Week". In addition, other types of documents can be found, including newspaper clippings, photographs, mailing lists, magazines, newsletters, press releases, addresses, brochures and reports. Less typical items among the series are tapes and recording discs (45 r.p.m.). Significant materials on environmental history including the following:

  • The Appalachia folder in carton 8 covers the period 1964 to 1965 and covers the passage of the federal Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1964. The act was designed to promote mine subsidence, control underground mine fires, set guidelines for disposal of coal mine culm, and to curb water pollution caused by mine drainage. List of sites and maps of geographic regions pertaining to these issues are found here. Also there is a copy of the testimony of Governor William Scranton before Congress about the proposed bill, a 1964 report of the President's Appalachian Region Commission and Governor Scranton's response to it.
  • Two more folders discussing the President's Appalachian Region Commission are found in carton 11. The papers date from 1963 to 1964 and consist of correspondence and memos between state agencies, state officials and federal officials. For more information on the Appalachian Region Commission see the Records of the Office of the Governor (RG-10) Also in carton 11 is a folder documenting Project 70 from 1964 to 1965. Project 70 was intended to provide 50% matching grants to the Commonwealth's 2600 municipalities for the purpose of acquiring open space for recreation, conservation, and historical purposes. Related materials on Project 70 can be found in the Records of the Dept. of Forests and Waters (RG-6)
  • The Sanitary Water Board is the subject of three folders in carton 12. The folders have correspondence between Governor William Scranton, state officials, and industrialists about the proposed revision of the 1937 "Clean Streams Act" as well as the federal Water Pollution Act of 1963. Also found here are newspaper clippings about these respective legislations. Further information on the Sanitary Water Board can be found in the Records of the Dept. of Forests and Waters (RG 6), Records of the Dept. of Health (RG 11), Records of the Dept. of Environmental Resources (RG 43), Records of the Dept. of Mines and Minerals (RG 45) and Walter Lyon Papers (MG-472).



SECRETARY'S SUBJECT FILE
1973-1977
(10 cartons)
{series #31.3}


Arranged alphabetically by subject.

This series has miscellaneous papers from the Dept. of Commerce concerning business with other agencies, private organizations, or individuals are in this series. Much of the series deals with the Dept. of Environmental Resources and the Bicentennial Commission of Pennsylvania. Items include annual reports, audits, budget reports, correspondence, memos, publications, minutes, executive circulars, legislative proposals, grant applications, bills, and vouchers. Within cartons 3 and 4 are folders about the environment and environmental policy.



Bureau of Statistics, Research and Planning
PENNSYLVANIA COUNTY DATA BOOKS,
1986 (1 box)
{series #31.4}

Arranged alphabetically by name of county.

This series has county statistical information prepared by the Dept. of Commerce with regards to Pennsylvania's physical features and facilities. These include transportation facilities, public utility suppliers, media, travel data, and financial institutions. Section Two covers demographics and income. This includes municipality information, personal income, and income tax data returns. Economic profiles and employment are covered in Section Three, which documents standard industrial classification reports, major employers, research and development facilities, economic censuses, agricultural reports, government employment information, and civilian labor force data. Section Four examines the quality of life and provides information concerning educational and medical facilities, state parks, and crime statistics.




Vacation and Travel Development Bureau
PHOTOGRAPH FILE OF MOUNTED PRINTS AND NEGATIVES,
1938-1954 (9 boxes, 12 cartons)
{series #31.6}

Arranged alphabetically by county name, and there under by topical categories.

This is a file of miscellaneous black and white photographs taken throughout the counties of Pennsylvania. The photographs range in size from 8 1/2" by 11" to 11" by 16". The nearly 3,000 photographs in this collection were used to promote travel and attract industry in the commonwealth. The categories of photographs include farm scenes, bridges, hotels and inns, churches, canals, and historic buildings. Other photographs focus on highly visited towns and cities throughout the state, including Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Valley Forge. Included are many Civil War-related views, most of which focus on monuments and landmarks at Gettysburg. There are also miscellaneous photographs of the Soldiers' Orphans Home in Scotland, the Bucktail Monument in Cameron County, and Lancaster County's Wheatland, the home of President James Buchanan. A number of the photographs depict civil defense structures, fairs, highways, industries, outdoor activities, state parks, wildlife, waterfalls, and historic sites, monuments, and markers. The reverse sides of many photographs describe the scene and identify the photographer. While some photos in the collection are missing, an item level listing of all extant photographs is available to researchers.



PHOTOGRAPH FILE OF TRANSPARENCIES,
1938-1954
(9 boxes)
{series #31.7}

Arranged numerically by transparency number.

The series features transparencies of various scenes photographed throughout the state. The photos are of nature scenes, outdoor activities, historic sites and monuments, sporting events, industrial sites, and rural settings. An item level listing of all the transparencies is available.



State Planning Board
AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHS AND INDEX OF THE 1940 AERIAL SURVEY OF PENNSYLVANIA
1937-1942
15 drawers, 27 cartons
{series #31.18}


Grouped alphabetically by name of county, and there under arranged alpha-numerically by photograph number.

The series is indexed internally by "mosaic"-like posters showing all the numbered photos in a reduced, composite format, fit together like pieces of a puzzle to reveal each county in its entirety, with boundaries drawn in. It is also indexed externally by the Geographic Index to Aerial Surveys, 1946-1950 {series #31.19}. This series contains a wealth of pictorial information. 8" x 10", black and white, "bird's eye view" type photographs exist for each county, having been taken at frequent intervals from a plane that flew back and forth in linear swaths until an entire jurisdiction was documented. The photos bear unique numbers representing the particular flight path of the plane and the sequence of the overlapping shots. Visible are physical features of the land, such as forests, fields, bodies of water, and roads, as well as houses, outbuildings and other structures, and even foundations and remains of buildings no longer extant. The fact that the photos overlap each other allows many of the features to be seen from slightly different angles--a feature that has been found useful by archaeologists and historic preservationists.



GEOGRAPHIC INDEX TO AERIAL SURVEYS,
1946-1950
3 volumes
{series #31.19}


Arranged alphabetically by name of county.

The series is an index to the aerial photographs taken during the 1940 Aerial Survey of Pennsylvania. Each color sketch provides names and locations of highways, roads, bodies of water, townships, boroughs, cities, and other place names.


Technical Assistance Division
APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION FILES
Accession #2570
1982-1986
2 cartons
unprocessed


Accession #2505
1977-1985
3 cartons
unprocessed



Accession #2442
1984
1 carton
unprocessed



Accession #2298
1981-1983
3 cartons
Unprocessed




Bureau of Loans
Disaster Recovery Files
1972 (Hurricane Agnes)
5 cu. ft.
accession # 2062
unprocessed




Bureau of Appalachian Development
General Subject Files
1986
1 cu. ft.
Accession #2255
unprocessed


Bureau of Appalachian Development
General Subject Fiiles
1981-1985
Accession #2227
unprocessed


 

RG-34
RECORDS OF THE DEPT. OF COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

 

The Dept. of Community Affairs, the first dept. of its kind in the nation, was created by Act 582 of 1966. The agency became operational on July 1, 1966, with the purpose of assisting local governments and enabling the State to provide important services necessitated by expanding intergovernmental relationships involving all levels of public jurisdiction. Organizationally, the Dept. came into being by bringing together several related activities which were scattered throughout state government. Primarily the programs in housing, urban renewal, parks and recreation, planning and economic opportunity came from the Dept. of Commerce, while community service, research, the information clearing house, technical assistance to local governments, municipal statistics, and legal services came from the Dept. of Internal Affairs.

Community Affairs was responsible for providing technical and training assistance to local governments, and administering appropriate State and Federal aid programs. The Dept. directed programs in areas of housing and development, urban renewal, community planning, and recreation and conservation. In 1996, the Dept. of Community Affairs was merged with the Dept. of Commerce to form the Dept. of Community and Economic Development.



Press Office
The Press Office was within the Executive Office and was responsible for overseeing statewide media relations for the department. Its staff coordinated public information activities concerning the dept.'s objectives, programs and services. The office also supervised departmental communications; designed, wrote and edited publications; and developed media materials for dissemination to the public.


FLOOD FILES,
1972-1978
(4 cartons)
{series #34.2}

Arranged alphabetically by topic.

This series contains the files from the Press Office that dealt with flood related disasters. Included in this series are news clippings, press releases, memoranda, copies of legislation, agreements, and general information on flood damage, recovery efforts, legislation, insurance, relief programs. Incidents documented by the files relate mainly to the flooding that resulted from Hurricane Agnes of 1971 and Hurricane Eloise of 1975. Special items of interest include copies of 1973 proposed flood hazard zoning ordinances for the City of Harrisburg and a copy of the federal Dept. of Housing and Urban Development's publication: Suggested flood plain regulations ca. 1971-1974.



Bureau of Community Planning
The Bureau of Community Planning was established in 1970, with duties to support local and regional planning activities, and offer planning expertise and financial assistance to municipalities and counties in the preparation and updating of community development plans. Funding was provided through several state-sponsored planning grant programs. Of particular importance were efforts by this bureau to administer technical assistance to nearly 2,500 flood-prone municipalities in Pennsylvania so that they met State and Federal eligibility requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program.


STATE PLANNING ASSISTANCE GRANT FILES,
1971-1977
(23 cartons)
{series #34.4}

Arranged chronologically by year of the project, and there under numerically by project number.

This series contains the plans, reports, and studies for projects funded through a planning grant under provisions of Appropriation Act of the General Assembly Number 73-A of March 21, 1970. This appropriation provided planning assistance and services including surveys, land use studies, urban renewal projects, technical services, and other elements of comprehensive planning programs to counties, cities, boroughs, townships, and regions. Projects funded include land use regulations, comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, open space preservation, regional plans and background studies.



URBAN PLANNING ASSISTANCE PROJECT FILES,
1958-1979
(159 cartons)
{series #34.5}

Arranged chronologically by year of the project, and there under numerically by project number.

This series contains the plans, reports, and studies for projects funded through an urban planning grant under provisions of Section 701 of the United States Housing Act of 1954. The purpose of the program was to facilitate comprehensive planning for urban and rural development by state and local governments. Grants were made to local governments and other public planning agencies to prepare, administer, coordinate, and evaluate community, county, and region wide plans, particularly in the areas of housing and land use. Examples of project topics include waste management, land use, planning, economic development, housing, subdivision regulations, open space preservation, transportation, and education.



Bureau of Housing and Development
One of the highest priorities for this dept. was ensuring safe, sanitary and decent housing for all Pennsylvanians. Dept. efforts in this campaign fell under the Bureau of Housing and Development, which was established as a separate bureau in 1970. The Bureau provided expert help and funding to Pennsylvania communities for various housing and community revitalization and economic development activities. Funding was provided for low and moderate income housing, inspection and building standards conformance for factory-produced and manufactured housing units and disaster projects, particularly in the areas of flood protection. The bureau also administered the Federal Small Communities Block Grant Program, and the nationally recognized "Main Street" program.




HURRICANE AGNES FLOOD FILES,
1972-1976
(1 carton)
{series 34.7}

Grouped chronologically by date of document.

Documents of the federal Dept. of Housing and Development (HUD) relating to the efforts to repair damaged homes and provide temporary housing after Hurricane Agnes.. Documentation includes memoranda, correspondence, news releases, reports, and agreements detailing property damage, recovery efforts, relief programs, emergency shelters, loans, flood insurance, and legislation.


Bureau of Local Government Services
The Bureau of Local Government Services was established as a result of the Dept. reorganization in 1970 and performed many of the Dept.'s core functions by providing a direct, comprehensive consulting and training service program to all local governments, covering virtually every phase of municipal operation. Consultants in each of the Dept.' s regional offices were primary contacts for local officials and provided assistance in areas of general, financial and public works management, and policy and personnel administration. The Bureau also administered the state's Council of Governments (COGS) grants program.




HURRICANE AGNES FLOOD FILES
ca. 1973-1975
5 cartons
{series #34.8}

Arranged alphabetically by name of municipality or county.

These are tax abatement records for areas flooded in 1971 as a result of Hurricane Agnes. The tax abatements were authorized by Act 5 of the First Special Session of 1972. There are flood abatement tax duplicates for each municipality, and also property owner applications for abatement of 1972 real estate taxes from Berks County. The flood abatement tax duplicates list the property owner's name and address; the old and new assessments for land and improvements; and the old and new taxes broken down by county tax, institutional district tax, municipal tax, and school tax; and the difference between the old and new abatement taxes. The property owner applications for abatement list the name of the taxing body, the street address, town and county name for the property, amount of real estate tax paid, and name of property owner(s).




MISCELLANEOUS LETTERS AND ANNUAL REPORTS
ca. 1970s
accession # 4304
0.02 cu. ft.

unprocessed

Items of interest to environmental historians include the following:

  • Testimony of William A. Wilcox before the National Water Commission, Feb. 9, 1973
  • Testimony of William A. Wilcox before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disaster Relief, Sept. 13, 1973

 

PA State Archives - Research Guides - Energy Related Records

If you need further assistance, you may contact an archivist at ra-statearchives@pa.gov