St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Have to Reach Out to Research in PA for a While

While the PA Archives will be closed to the walking, talking, visiting public for the next several months, all is not in despair.  They will still process inquires if you talk or write to them.....

Pennsylvania State Archives to Close for Four-Month Renovation Project

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) announced today that the State Archives of Pennsylvania will close from Oct. 18 through Feb. 3, 2011, for needed renovations.

While Oct. 16 is the final day researchers can visit the facility at Third and Forster streets in Harrisburg, staff will continue to respond to telephone, e-mail, and postal inquiries during the renovations.

Barbara Franco, PHMC executive director, said the $250,000 project will expand and modernize the existing lobby and public research areas. A larger vestibule is required to facilitate access for people with disabilities and will include automatic doors. The work will provide more space for the increasing number of researchers, as well as new wiring and additional computers to improve access to the collections. Security systems will also be upgraded.

While the renovations will extend the life of the building, plans are still in process to replace the 50-year-old facility that is nearing its capacity. Water leaks exist. The facility lacks adequate environmental controls or fire suppression systems to protect its more than two hundred million pages of one-of-a-kind records, including the Charter from King Charles II to William Penn creating the colony of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission operates the State Archives. Visit the archives online at PHMC's website,, and choose the State Archives link. For further information about the closure or to make research inquiries, call 717-783-3281.

Ahh, genealogy.  Sometimes you just can't walk the walk.  Sometimes, you just have to talk.

©2010 AS Eldredge

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