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Bellefonte teacher digitizes ‘Bellefonte Governors’ Papers’

BELLEFONTE –A Centre County Library and Historical Museum collection of correspondence, inaugural addresses and other documents called The Bellefonte Governors’ Papers is now available online through POWER Library at www.powerlibrary.org/category/collection-subjects/centre-county-library-historical-museum/.

Bellefonte has been the home to seven governors, five of whom governed Pennsylvania. Over 20 of their historic documents are housed in the Pennsylvania Room and Historical Museum with other genealogical and historical resources, but many of these historic documents have been unavailable to researchers due to preservation concerns.

Matthew Maris, a graduate intern at the library, completed all of the steps necessary to digitize these Bellefonte Governors’ Papers before making them available via Pennsylvania Photos and Documents, a project sponsored by POWER Library. This platform gives libraries and other heritage institutions across the commonwealth an opportunity to share their unique collections with online patrons. In the fall, all information included on the site will be indexed and made available through the Digital Public Library of America. This means researchers across the nation will now have access to the collection for their own research.

Maris, a Bellefonte Area High School social studies teacher, is completing an MA in Public History at Arizona State University. He says, “Digitization is all about accessibility, discoverability, and preservation. It has been a pleasure working to make a range of historic artifacts more available to the public through digitization.”

To continue this project and expand the number of collections available online, additional committed volunteers are needed. If you wish to be a part of the project, email paroom@centrecountylibrary.org.

Any questions about the program or genealogical research can be answered by calling the Pennsylvania Room at 814-355-1516 x 214, or by emailing paroom@centrecountylibrary.org.

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