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Nominate a Historical Marker

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC) plans to reopen the Historical Marker Program for new nominations in 2025. 

In November 2022, PHMC paused the program due to nationwide delays manufacturing the iconic roadside markers. These delays in marker production were exacerbated by a backlog of approved markers during the pandemic and a significant increase in the number of marker nominations from the 2022 cycle. PHMC is committed to resolving the backlog prior to considering new nominations and avoid a potentially greater backlog.

During the temporary hiatus, PHMC marker staff focused on maintenance, repairing damaged markers, and reviewing the marker program in the interest of continuous improvement.

Updates will be posted on this web page as they become available.

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.