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Archives and Special Collections at Penn State Harrisburg

This guide provides an overview of the resources available from Archives and Special Collections in the Madlyn L. Hanes Library, part of the Penn State University Libraries, at Penn State Harrisburg.

About Exhibitions, Displays & Outreach

David Wyche and Elizabeth McIlhenney with our main exhibition display caseAbout Archival Exhibitions:  Throughout the calendar year, Archives and Special Collections curates and installs one or more original exhibitions on the first floor of the library near the Circulation Desk.  Since 2013, we have curated a total of over forty exhibitions.  While the theme or focus of each exhibition varies, the archives strives to present original materials from ten different collections for the benefit of our academic community and the general public.  In addition, within the archives' Reading Room, a permanent exhibit case always features highlights of the repository's collections and is accessible whenever the archives is open or by appointment.  David Wyche (pictured left), an archives graduate student assistant and PhD candidate in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg, and Elizabeth "Liz" McIlhenney (pictured right), former Archives Processing Assistant, assisted with curating many of our exhibitions and displays over the past year.

About Library Displays:  Smaller archival and/or informational displays are rotated throughout the calendar year and usually located on the first floor of the library near the Reference or Circulation Desks.  These displays typically commemorate an event or celebration, such as LGBTQ+ History Month, or another topic of interest to the college community.

About Outreach:  Since 2006, the archives has developed exhibitions and smaller displays in partnership with academic departments and student clubs on campus, local collectors, as well as collaborated with other area and national museums and historical organizations, including the following:  American Philatelic Society, Antique Automobile Club of America's Chris & Kathleen Koch Library and Research CenterHighspire Historical SocietyMiddletown Area Historical SocietyPenn State All-Sports Museum, Penn State Harrisburg Center for Holocaust and Jewish StudiesPennsylvania National Fire MuseumPennsylvania State Archives, and Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service (SITES), and THON.  Please contact Heidi Abbey Moyer if you or your organization would like to collaborate with the archives!

Penn State All-Sports MuseumPennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC)Middletown Area Historical SocietyAACA Library & Research CenterAmerican Philatelic Society and Research LibrarySmithsonian InstitutionTHON  


Current Exhibitions (March 11 - December 2024)

The Botanical Prints of Henry EvansMay 16, 2024 through August 9, 2024, New "Art Wall" Exhibition

"The Botanical Prints of Henry Evans," from the Penn State Harrisburg College Art Collection

We are pleased to announce "The Botanical Prints of Henry Evans," the inaugural exhibition for our new "Art Wall" in the library for Summer 2024.  The Madlyn L. Hanes Library and the Penn State Harrisburg School of Humanities has partnered to create this space for visual works of art owned by the college and for art created by our students.  Located near the Reference Collection on the first floor of the library, the "Art Wall" summer installation includes nine, botanical, linotype prints by noted California printmaker, Henry Evans (1918-1990). 

Stay tuned in late August for a Fall 2024 installation of artwork by students from Penn State Harrisburg.


Driving, Designing, and Defying: Women Paving the Way in Automotive HistoryMarch 11, 2024 - December 20, 2024, Exhibition

"Driving, Designing, and Defying:  Women Paving the Way in Automotive History"

In celebration of Women's History Month 2024, we are delighted to announce the launch of our newest exhibition that is now available for viewing on the first floor of the Hanes Library. This exhibition represents a multi-year partnership between the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Chris & Kathleen Koch's Library & Research Center and Archives and Special Collections in the Madlyn L. Hanes Library at Penn State Harrisburg.  Featuring over 100 items in five display cases, it showcases women and their many contributions to automotive history. It includes a combination of original materials and facsimiles from the 1880s through the 2020s such as advertisements, automotive brochures, automobilia, books, magazine covers, photographs, road maps, and even a rare woman's vintage driving coat and dress from the early 1900s.

We held two opening receptions to celebrate the new exhibition on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.  Curators from the AACA and Penn State were available to meet visitors and we enjoyed light refreshments handmade by Sweet Velvet Macarons, a woman-owned, local bakery offering fresh-baked macaron creations!  

Current Displays (March 26 - December 20, 2024)

Forty-Five Years After the Meltdown: Remembering the Accident at TMI in 2024While all of our library display cases are currently being used in the exhibition, "Driving, Designing, and Defying: Women Paving the Way in Automotive History," a special display is located in the Reading Room of Archives and Special Collections.

On Display March 26 - December 20, 2024:  "Forty-Five Years After the Meltdown:  Remembering the Accident at TMI in 2024"

Thursday, March 28, 2024, marked the 45th anniversary of the nation's worst nuclear accident, which happenedThree Mile Island Ceramic Ashtray at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, located on an island in the Susquehanna River near Middletown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  This exhibition, located in the Archives and Special Collections' Reading Room on the library's 3rd floor, features books, rare ephemera, and other unique memorabilia about TMI including recent acquisitions from area residents and local donors. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Viewing of the exhibition is by appointment only on weekdays (Monday - Wednesday).  As availability of the archives is limited, visitors are encouraged to schedule a visit at least two weeks in advance of the requested date/time. Please contact Heidi Abbey Moyer (, Archivist and Humanities Reference Librarian, for more information. 

If you are interested in learning more about the TMI accident, please visit one of the resources listed below:

National Archives Month

archives monthEvery October, Archives and Special Collections celebrates American Archives Month.  Join the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and/or the national professional organization for archivists and records managers, the Society of American Archivists, to raise awareness of archives!

Every October, we celebrate #AskAnArchivist Day!  Please visit our Facebook page to connect with us and ask the archivist questions.