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The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is the official history agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Created in 1945, we are responsible for the collection, conservation, and interpretation of Pennsylvania's historic heritage, which we accomplish through the Pennsylvania State Archives, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Trails of History (historic sites and museums), the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, and the Bureau of Management Services.


The PHMC works in partnership with others to preserve the Commonwealth's natural and cultural heritage as a steward, teacher and advocate for the people of Pennsylvania and the nation.


The PHMC enriches people's lives by helping them to understand Pennsylvania's past, to appreciate the present, and to embrace the future.


The PHMC was created by Act No. 446, approved June 6, 1945, amending the Administrative Code. The legislation that describes the powers and duties of the Commission is Title 37, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes commonly referred to as the "Pennsylvania History Code".

Core Impacts

  • We collect, safeguard and share our state's most treasured documents and objects.
  • We teach Pennsylvania history to children and adults because informed citizens are the bedrock of democracy.
  • We promote economic development by protecting and repurposing Pennsylvania's historic buildings.
  • We help create vital places to live and work by protecting the uniqueness of Pennsylvania's distinctive communities.
  • We save tax dollars by helping state and local governments manage their records efficiently.
  • We protect basic legal rights of Pennsylvanians by safeguarding property and legislative documents.
  • We attract tourists to Pennsylvania’s historic sites and museums.


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