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State Museum of Pennyslvania

Third & North Streets
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Phone: 717-787-4979 --
TTY: 800-654-5984

Statement of Purpose:

To collect and preserve artifacts illustrating the Commonwealth's history and to interpret Pennsylvania's heritage through exhibits and programs.

Highlights & Collections:

The State Museum of Pennsylvania holds four floors of exhibits and activities presenting Pennsylvania's history from earth's beginning to the present.

Archaeological and military artifacts, art, animal dioramas, social and industrial history are all featured in the following permanent exhibits: the DinoLab, the Carboniferous Forest, the Hall of Mammals, the Native American Village, the recreated "small Pennsylvania town," and the Civil War exhibit. In total The State Museum curates 1,880,000 objects.

Especially for children, the Curiosity Corner provides hands-on learning opportunities for children at a nominal fee. To correspond with exhibits, the museum offers a variety of lectures, cultural events, performances and workshops.

Another highlight of the museum is the Planetarium designed to both entertain and enlighten visitors about the mysteries of our universe. Programs in 1997 include The Winter Sky, Comets Are Coming, Stars of Spring and Summer, City of Stars, Update: The Universe, Season of Light, and Little Lost Star. And, for younger audiences or groups with limited visiting time, the museum offers mini shows like Sadies Dream, A Trip to the Planets, Indian Legends, and The Lighthearted Astronomer.


"Workshops in Archaelogy"

One of the museum's more popular annual programs, "Workshops in Archaeology," is held in November and designed for non-professional enthusiasts. Activities include artifact identification, surface collecting and recording, visiting sites and viewing films.

Artifact Clinics

Monday through Friday 8:30 to 4:30 and the second Wednesday of each month, 4:30 to 7pm State Museum curators offer free answers to questions about your historical artifacts or natural specimens. This service is available by appointment only and no monetary appraisals can be given.

Volunteer Opportunities in the Section of Archaeology

Volunteers assist with cleaning and cataloging artifact collections from Pennsylvania. No previous experience is required. Volunteers are needed anytime between 9 am and 4 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. If interested in working with prehistoric and historic objects on those days, call Mark A. McConaughy at (717) 783-2665 to arrange for an interview.

Pennsylvania Fine Arts with strengths in paintings and prints; Military, Political and Industrial History; Decorative Arts, especially 19th-century; Archaeology, particularly Native American artifacts; Natural Science; Paleontology, especially invertebrate specimens; and Geology.

Exhibits & Special Events:



Admission & Directions:

General Admission is free. Admission charges may apply to special programs.



Check with us at a later date.

Key Personnel:

Anita D. Blackaby, Director

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