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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.

Special Interest Collection

Middletown Area Flood June 1972About the Collection

The Special Interest Collection consists of nearly 400 unique books and features four local newspapers, all of which are non-circulating and for use in the Reading Room of Archives and Special Collections.  The collection features rare and limited printings of books about Middletown including the Middletown Area Flood, June 1972 (pictured left), the Chronicles of Middletown by C. H. Hutchinson, and Early Middletown and Its Settlers compiled by Virginia M. Schaeffer, which is available full-text online via the Penn State University Libraries' Digital Collections.  Books in the collection highlight the history of several surrounding communities including Elizabethtown, Harrisburg, Hershey, Highspire, Hummelstown, Mount Gretna, Paxtang, and Steelton, Pennsylvania. The Special Interest Collection is also comprised of monographs about Penn State University, including archivist and historian Lee Stout's Ice Cream U:  The Story of the Nation's Most Successful Collegiate Creamery and several original volumes of Penn State University's student yearbook, La Vie, from the early 1900s.

In addition to books, the Special Interest Collection includes forty years of original copies of the Press & Journal, which was the local newspaper for Middletown and its surrounding communities in southcentral Pennsylvania.  Our holdings of the newspaper are for the years 1979-2020 only.  The Middletown Press & Journal, which dates back to 1854, ceased publication on July 1, 2020, in large part due to lack of advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a June 24, 2020 article that appeared on PennLive, "The Press & Journal was named best weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania, regardless of circulation size, in 2019 by the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association, and it took PNA’s sweepstakes awards for its circulation category two years’ running in 2019 and 2020." We are honored to assist with preserving the past forty years of this resource that documents the history of Middletown and the capital region.

Inventory for the Collection

To review the publications in this collection, visit the Library's Online Catalog (CAT) here.