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  • Announcements

pha awards philip s. klein book prize to dr. sally mcmurry

At its 2018 annual meeting, the Pennsylvania Historical Association awarded the Philip S. Klein Book Prize to Dr. Sally McMurry for Pennsylvania Farming: A History in Landscapes (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017). The prize committee felt the book was an exhaustive and significant resource on agriculture in the commonwealth and will remain a definitive work in the years to come. The prize is awarded for the best book on a topic that illuminates the history of Pennsylvania every even-numbered year. The prize was established in honor of Philip S. Klein, president of the association from 1954 to 1957. A review of the book appeared in the Winter 2019 (86.1) issue of Pennsylvania History. Congratulations to Dr. McMurry!

state historic preservation office receives federal grant to study african american history

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) to study African American history and historic places in Pennsylvania. The two-year study will examine churches, schools, cemeteries, fraternal buildings, and other structures important to African American history in Pennsylvania. The project includes preparing a historic context for these types of properties, nominating a property associated with [End Page 310] African American history to the National Register of Historic Places, and providing education and outreach opportunities about African American history in Pennsylvania.

The project will build on earlier PA SHPO studies about African American history and historic communities, that were funded through the Preserve America program. The story of African Americans in Pennsylvania is both rich and deep, yet there remains little information about the built environment that reflects this powerful, historical story. To date, there have been no statewide studies that link the built environment to African American history in Pennsylvania.

PA SHPO is one of thirteen organizations in the country to receive the grant, funded by the federal Historic Preservation Fund. PA SHPO, a bureau of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), has partnered with Dr. Steven Burg, chair of the History and Philosophy Department at Shippensburg University, and Barbara Barksdale and Brenda Barrett of the PA Hallowed Grounds Project to complete the project. Their contributions, which will include research, a National Register nomination, and assistance with programming, will continue beyond the life of the grant.

This grant gives Pennsylvania the opportunity to create a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of not only the commonwealth's diverse history, but also that of Pennsylvania's African American communities. This project will emphasize important themes from Pennsylvania's storied African American past, while attempting to bring a new perspective to the study of African American history. For more information visit:

aaslh annual meeting

The 2019 annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History will be held August 28–31 in Philadelphia, in partnership with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. The AASLH annual meeting is known for practical sessions, takeaways galore, hallway conversations, unmatched evening events, new life-long friendships, intensive workshops, and the inspiration that comes from being around other history-doers. [End Page 311] For more information visit the AASLH conference website at:

count basie artifacts collection now at rutgers university–newark

Rutgers–Newark has announced the acquisition of a large collection of artifacts of the life of legendary musician and band leader William "Count" Basie. The collection will be housed at the Institute of Jazz Studies in the Dana Cotton Library, the largest collection of jazz music–related materials in the world. The acquisition includes scrapbooks, photos, manuscripts, and letters, as well as personal items ranging from clothing and housewares to firearms and Grammy awards. Also included is a collection of items belonging to Basie's wife, Catherine, to whom he was married from 1940 until her death in 1983, just one year before his own death.

Basie was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, and spent his formative years in the area. During his early career he often played at venues in nearby cities like Asbury Park before moving to Harlem in the...


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