- The PHMC Scholars in Residence Program: A Roundtable Assessment:The Sixteenth and Final Class of Scholars in Residence at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
The Pennsylvania Historical Association's annual meeting was held October 22-24, 2009, at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. In 2008 PHA and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's (PHMC) Scholars in Residence Program (SIR) forged a collaboration resulting in an annual roundtable. The roundtable allowed program participants to disseminate their work to likeminded peers.
The Scholars in Residence program encouraged historical and academic research at PHMC sites by subsidizing researchers. This mutually beneficial program thrived for sixteen years, fostering use and interpretation of underutilized collections, ongoing development of scholarly thought, and lasting relationships amongst the historical community.
Regrettably, the Scholars in Residence Program became a casualty of the ongoing budgetary crisis statewide; there is no evidence that it will reemerge amidst the debilitating cuts endured by the PHMC.
Members of the final SIR class spoke at PHA's 2009 meeting about their experience with the program, including: April Beisaw, who utilized the State Museum of Pennsylvania's archeological collection to research the Susuquehannock practice of multiple [End Page 466] burials; Julian Chambliss, who worked with the J. Horace McFarland collection at the Pennsylvania State Archives, shedding light on to McFarland's significance in the contributions to civic improvement and the "City Beautiful" movement of the early twentieth century; and J. Adam Rogers who examined records at the Pennsylvania State Archives and focused his interpretation on the Civil War soldier's return home.