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Nominate a Historical Marker

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) is temporarily pausing its Historical Marker Program. 

Ongoing supply chain issues, from sourcing raw materials to workforce availability, are impacting all areas of manufacturing, including the production of the iconic, blue-and-gold Pennsylvania Historical Markers. 

The company responsible for the fabrication of the markers for Pennsylvania has communicated to PHMC that they are unable to guarantee timely delivery of new markers. This has necessitated rescheduling or cancelling planned marker dedications. 

The issues impacting marker fabrication are not limited to Pennsylvania. Across the country, other states are experiencing similar delays affecting their marker programs.

These delays in marker production are exacerbated by the fact that during the pandemic several marker dedications were postponed, resulting in a backlog of approved markers to be fabricated.

Pennsylvanians continue to have great interest in the marker program, and last year the number of marker nominations submitted nearly doubled. PHMC is committed to ensuring that any markers pending review can be manufactured and installed prior to considering new nominations.

With this increase in volume and the uncertainty of the production schedule, PHMC will not be accepting new marker nominations after the current round scheduled for consideration at the December 7, 2022, commission meeting.

Although this is a regrettable situation, PHMC wants to avoid causing a greater backlog until we are certain when production can resume. 

During this temporary hiatus, PHMC marker staff will focus on repairing and maintaining damaged markers and will be reviewing the marker program in the interest of continuous improvement.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of the Pennsylvania Historical Marker Program. 
We invite you to visit PHMC online and or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn for the latest news on this and other PHMC programs. 

Criteria for Approval of State Historical Markers

The following criteria for approving state historical markers was adopted by Resolution of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in September 2020.

A.  The nomination is clear and organized and includes thorough documentation (with selected photocopies and bibliographies from reliable primary and secondary sources) and verification of the facts claimed.

B.     The person, place, event, organization, or innovation to be marked had a significant impact on its times, and has statewide and/or national, rather than local or regional, historical significance. The significance of the subject, particularly for continuing events and organizations, must be historically established rather than of contemporary interest.  PHMC recognizes that continuing scholarship may help validate the subject's impact on its times or its significance from a more recent historical perspective.

C.     The subject to be marked has a substantial connection to Pennsylvania.

D.     An Historical Marker cannot be approved for a living person. With the exception of Pennsylvania governors and U.S. presidents, subjects must have been deceased for a minimum of five (5) years. The significance of an individual's accomplishments must have had a measurable impact on history and sufficient time has elapsed to evaluate that impact based on credible documentation.

E.      Nominations for geographical, topographical, or natural features may be referred to an appropriate federal, state, or local agency.

F.      People, places, events, and innovations already marked with existing monuments or markers may receive less favorable consideration for an Historical Marker.

G.     Nominated subjects reviewed and disapproved by the Commission three times in succession are not eligible for review panel consideration for a period of three years.

H.     Governors of Pennsylvania are approved as the subject of an Historical Marker upon nomination (subject to the criterion in subsection D herein).

I.        Historic sites or properties owned by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission are approved as the subject of an Historical Marker upon nomination.

J.       Places listed on the National Register of Historic Places and/or recognized as National Historic Landmarks or United Nations World Heritage Sites may be considered for an Historical Marker. These places will not be summarily approved by PHMC for designation because the approval criteria for those designations are different. Nominations for these places are subject to all these Criteria.

K.     Places of worship and cemeteries/burial places generally will not be approved unless the nomination demonstrates that the subject meets criteria in subsections B and J.