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Herkness Real Estate Records

The W. &. M. Herkness Real Estate Records, 1854-1941

Wayne Herkness (1882-1957) entered the real estate business within a few years of his father’s untimely death in 1899.  The family lived at Cloverly Farm, a country estate on the north side of Vinegar Hill (Susquehanna Road).  In 1904 the property was divided for sub-division and the first homes on present day Sewell Lane were built. In 1905, Herkness joined with G. Henry Stetson, second son of John B. Stetson of hat fame, to form the firm of Herkness, Stetson & Company. A little later another gentleman by the last name of Cochran came into the firm, then known as Herkness, Stetson & Cochran. In the spring of 1909, Cochran left and the business was renamed Herkness & Stetson. By 1910, 
... read more about The W. &. M. Herkness Real Estate Records, 1854-1941

Pennsylvania Bridges

Bill Minter's preservation efforts on Evan Pugh's books

Rebinding this book of President Evan Pugh was one of Bill Minter's first bookbinding assignments when he joined the University Libraries' Preservation and Digitization Department in January 2014. Pugh secured this title and others as part of his research library that is now housed in The Eberly Famly Special Collections Library within the University Libraries at Penn State.

Pugh's legacy to Penn State is noteworthy. Chartered in 1855 as one of the nation’s first colleges of agricultural science, Penn State admitted its first students in 1859. During the interim, its founders searched for a president who possessed academic and scientific training, and who would be undaunted by the challenges of getting the institution up and running.

They chose Evan Pugh. A native of Chester County, Pennsylvania, he had earned a doctorate in chemistry in Germany and also studied in England. He developed a scientific course of study at Penn State that equaled or exceeded most similar courses elsewhere. Pugh aimed to expand the curriculum to include subjects that had practical value and those "classical" disciplines that formed the core of a traditional college education. This concept was embodied by the Morrill Land-Grant Act, passed by Congress in 1862.

The Pennsylvania legislature designated Penn State the Commonwealth’s sole land-grant institution in 1863. The Morrill Act required land-grant schools in each state to teach agriculture and engineering, along with science, mathematics, liberal arts, and other disciplines less overtly utilitarian. With land-grant status came financial support, prompting several other Pennsylvania colleges to lobby legislators in hopes of winning the coveted land-grant designation.

Pugh successfully rebuffed these rivals, while overseeing the start up of the curriculum, and the completion of the campus’ physical plant. But overwork weakened him. He fell ill with typhoid and died in 1864 at age 36.

Pugh served only five years as Penn State’s president. Yet he was highly successful in laying a solid foundation for what has become one of the world’s great public universities.

This photo stream shows some of the techniques involved in preserving collections such as Evan Pugh's research collection.

Mt. Nittany in Fall


Two free podcasts about Mount Nittany have just been released and are available for listening or download at

The podcasts were co-produced by Patty Satalia, senior producer/host at WPSU-TV and FM, and by Kathleen O’Toole, Penn State PhD in communications, and lecturer at the University. Says Satalia, who narrates the podcasts, “As much as I've always appreciated Mt. Nittany and enjoyed occasional hikes, I had no idea until we started this project just how significant, even sacred, the place is to so many people. That made it a really satisfying assignment.” more about the Mt. Nittany Podcasts