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About Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

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.


As the state’s history agency, it is our mission to discover, protect and share Pennsylvania’s past, inspiring others to value and use our history in meaningful ways.


Pennsylvanians see history as relevant to their lives. 


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".

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access Policy

PHMC is committed to representing and reflecting the experiences of the people and communities it serves.  To underscore this commitment, there is an agency-wide working group dedicated to addressing diversity, equity, inclusion and access as an agency-wide effort. 

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.