Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation

Researcher at the State ArchivesOne of the missions of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission is to facilitate research into Pennsylvania's past. Accordingly, we maintain research collections in a variety of formats: cataloged objects and documents, digital images of same, databases of historic and cultural resources, and written histories.

We also suggest visiting the Digital Collection at the State Library to see more resources the Commonwealth offers. 

Using the navigation bar to the left or select from the choices below to begin your research journey with the PHMC:

Pennsylvania State Archives collects, preserves and makes available for study the permanently-valuable public records of the Commonwealth. You can view digital documents, check our list of archival research topics or our archival collections as well as investigate land records.

Pennsylvania History This section of our Web site includes research and articles about many key people, places, events and things in Pennsylvania history.

Agricultural History Project This project is a comprehensive tool that can be used to protect natural and historic resources the comprise Pennsylvania's "farm country." It contains a historical narrative, a field guide, census information, maps and other resources.

Archaeology Each year hundreds of archaeological investigations are conducted in Pennsylvania.  Included are university field schools, projects conducted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and projects conducted to comply with state and Federal laws.  In this section of the Web site, we provide you with some of the information on our heritage that these projects have provided.

Architectural Field Guide This Web site has been created to provide a general background on the architectural types and styles prevalent in our state. This guide provides information about styles with coordinating photos and lists of identifying features.  
Cemetery Recordation and Preservation The purpose of this website is to provide resources to parties interested in learning more about cemetery preservation. The contents of the page supply information on the laws, guidelines and tools for preservation, and survey forms.

CRGIS Cultural Resources Geographic Information System, a map-based inventory of the nearly 150,000 historic and archaeological sites and surveys documented in the files of the Bureau for Historic Preservation (BHP).

Historic Bridges contains two articles with photographs about historic bridges in Pennsylvania and the preservation of these valuable resources.

New Deal in Pennsylvania section contains historical information on the period in Pennsylvania during the New Deal-era.

Oral History contains important information on how to conduct oral history interviews.

School Preservation Smart Growth Schools is an initiative that looks to promote the reuse of existing neighborhood schools, particularly if they are historic and also to promote the design of new schools that are compatible with the character of the neighborhood.