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Penn State University Libraries

Thematic Collections

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AgNIC Resources 

Research studies about 4-H and youth development

black and farm

Ag Portal 

Digital resources for historical Pennsylvania agriculture

advertising card- Girl sitting at a wash tub

Advertising Trade Cards from the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection

This digital collection consists of over 150 advertising trade cards from the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection (AMC), located in Archives and Special Collections at the Penn State Harrisburg Library. The cards showcase the 19th- and 20th-century woman as an entrepreneur and were used as early forms of advertising in America to promote not only goods but also services. They are diverse in content and feature women working as dressmakers, hairdressers, shop and storekeepers, photographers, wine and liquor dealers, and even spiritual mediums!

berks collection artifacts

Berks Campus Collections 

The Penn State Berks Archives currently houses the Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute Collection, the Dr. Harold W. Perkins Collection and the Dr. Ruth M. Freyberger Collection, as well as the materials documenting the Berks Campus History Project that culminated with the publication of We Are Penn State Berks: Celebrating Fifty Years 1958 – 2008. 

image from the Brent Wilson physical exhibit

Brent Wilson Papers: 1950-2013

Brent Wilson joined Penn State's faculty in 1974 as a professor of art education as well as head of the art education program in the School of Visual Arts (1983-1985; 1989-1999). The Brent Wilson papers reflect his participation in implementing national art education policies and document his service as an administrator and scholarly work on children in art education.

front of bulletin no.1 1912

Chestnut Blight Commission Collection 

Includes all reports from the Pennsylvania Commission on the Chestnut tree blight for the investigation and control of the disease (1912-1914). 11 documents reporting the research and work of the Pennsylvania Blight Commission.

page spread of Emilie Davis diaries

The Civil War Collection at Penn State 

This page highlights Penn State's freely available digital collections relating to the Civil War era.

An Advance of the Cavalry Skirmish

Edwin Forbes Civil War Etchings

Edwin Forbes (1839-1895) was an American landscape painter and etcher best known for his sketches of military life during the American Civil War (1861-1865). In 1876, Forbes published Life Studies of the Great Army: A Historical Art Work in Copper Plate Etching Containing Forty Plates, whose plates comprise this collection.

book cover The Mighty Eighth

Eighth Air Force Archive 

Established within The Pennsylvania State University Libraries' Historical Collections and Labor Archives in 1991, the Eighth Air Force Archive acquires and preserves original primary source documentation and reference materials devoted to the history of this important strategic bombing group during World War II, and the role that 8th Air Force veterans played in defeating the Axis powers

photo of Franklin and Nixon

A Few Good Women

In 1969 President Richard Nixon created the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities. It marked the beginning of a successful initiative to recruit and train women for upper-level governmental positions. Preserving these women's memories and reflections on their careers in government service is a way of documenting the history of women in modern American political life. 

forestry yearbook cover oak leaf

Forestry Education in Pennsylvania 

In May 1903, the governor of Pennsylvania established the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy in Mont Alto.  It was one of the first forestry schools in the nation along with the Biltmore Forestry School and the Yale Forestry School. Included in this collection are yearbooks are from the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy and the Pennsylvania State University School of Forestry, Mont Alto Branch.

picture of the Herkness colonial farmhouse

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. During the 1920's, W. & M. Herkness, agents, was one of the largest and most influential real estate firms in the northern Philadelphia suburbs. While the firm brokered real estate transactions through the Philadelphia region, they were the primary country estate realtors and developers in eastern Montgomery County, developing projects such as Huntingdon Road (1921) or Cherry Lane (1920/21)

Letter from James T. Stuart

James T. Stuart Family Papers

The Stuart Family Papers document multiple generations of a Pennsylvania family based in Boalsburg and Pittsburgh. The strengths of the collection are the military and personal Civil War-era materials associated with James T. Stuart (1837-1902) and his wife Emma Eliza Hunter (1848-1935), along with over a hundred years of family photographs.

T.R. Johns banner

The T.R. Johns Collection

The Thomas Richards (T.R.) Johns Papers digital project offers a unique historical resource to examine life, work, and community within the central Pennsylvania bituminous coal mining region.

literary map

Literary and Cultural Heritage Map of PA

The Literary and Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania is a graphic display of the literary history of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth. On the map you’ll find writers of novels, plays, short stories, technical manuals, legislation, children’s literature.just about anything you could imagine connected to writing.

Ogontz Mosaic Cover 1923

Ogontz Mosaic

The Ogontz Mosaic was the publication of the prominent elite and prestigious school known as The Ogontz School for Young Ladies. Usually published six times per year from 1884-1950, with occasional special issues, the Mosaic included articles about the school, its students, alumnae, and faculty. Also part of the Mosaics were articles, poetry, drawings and literary works created by the Ogontz students and information on faculty and student activities

scholar statue relief

Penn State History and Traditions 

This is a compiled list of Penn State related links. It features a historical timeline, and The Illustrated History of Penn State by Dr. Michael Bezilla, information about Penn State landmarks, Presidents, including oral histories and much more.

produce for victory

Pennsylvania Ag Extension Project

In 1911 Pennsylvania State College president Edwin E. Sparks requested money from the state legislature to begin a system of county agricultural agents to act as conduits of information between the School of Agriculture and practicing farmers.The bulk of this collection contains the county extension agents' narrative and statistical annual reports of their activities, 1912-1988.

pennsylvania bridges, historical photos

Pennsylvania Bridges

The collection contains photographs of railroad bridges in Pennsylvania, mostly in the Pittsburgh area, 1891-1915; photographs of technical drawings produced by the Pennsylvania State College, Civil Engineering Dept. depicting structural details and complete designs of modern railroad bridges, 1903-1904; and lantern slides of railroad bridges, 1884-ca. 1904.

historical photo of a blue grass band

Times of Sorrow and Hope

Between 1935 and 1944, photographers fanned out across the country to record American life in pictures, primarily under the auspices of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Office of War Information (OWI). This website features a complete catalog of the photographs taken in Pennsylvania by approximately forty photographers in nearly two hundred Pennsylvania towns, villages, cities, and landmarks.


Transactions of the NE Section of The Wildlife Society

Complete collection of all the Proceedings, Transactions, and Northeast Wildlife available in one location. The intent of this collaboration between Northeast Transactions of the Wildlife Society and The Pennsylvania State University Libraries is to provide a repository of the proceedings and publications available to the general public to benefit the conservation of fish and wildlife resources.

centre furnace mansion photo

Unearthing the Past: Student Research on Pennsylvania History

This site is a collaborative effort between the library and the Penn State History Department. The essays are written by history students at Penn State, under the supervision of Dr. William Pencak, History Department, and Eric Novotny, Humanities Librarian. Each essay provides an introduction to a unique and interesting episode in Pennsylvania History.

A Butterfly

Valentines from the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection

This collection consists of 164 comic valentine sheets (ca. 1870-1920), 10 sentimental valentines from World War II (ca. 1939-1945), and 7 suffrage valentines (ca. 1915-1920) from the Alice Marshall Women’s History Collection, located in Archives and Special Collections at the Penn State Harrisburg Library.

The poster of a U.S. soldier wielding a bayonet over a fallen German soldier

War Posters: World War I, World War II, Anti-Vietnam War Protest, and Black Militant Posters

The posters in this collection cover many subjects and agency creators, notably the U.S. Food Administration, with stunning images that include illustrations by well-known artists commissioned by the U.S. Government. It also includes protest posters against the Vietnam War (1961-1975) and from American Civil Rights and Black Power movements associated with campus unrest in America during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

cover of honey research

Jonathan W. White, Jr. papers, 1890-2000

The Jonathan W. White, Jr. Papers contains papers from Dr. White's sixty-year career in honey research. Dr. White also collected relevant research publications dating to the late 1890s.