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Historical Societies & Commissions

See also: Professional Organizations.


Pittsburgh-Wide Societies

  • Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
    The Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh's Strip District.
    • Search the Library & Archives
      The Library and Archives of HSWP offers a non-circulating collection of materials documenting life in Western Pennsylvania. The Reading Room and collections are located at the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, Pa 15222.
  • Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation
    Check here for tours of Pittsburgh and publications about Pittsburgh. Emphasizes the economic and cultural value of historic preservation through its bricks-and-mortar projects, architectural surveys, feasibility studies, educational programs, and publications.
  • Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society, Pittsburgh Chapter
    AAHGS is designed to encourage the research, documentation and preservation of African American families. Beginning genealogy classes are offered as well tips on how to overcome "brick walls" in your research. Monthly meetings and annual conferences are open to the public.
  • Antique Motor Coach Association of Pennsylvania
    preserves the history of Pennsylvania's and Allegheny County's motor coach heritage.

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Pittsburgh Neighborhood Historical Societies

  • Lawrenceville Historical Society
    Lawrenceville is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh. The Society offers articles and links about Lawrenceville.
  • Manchester Historic Society
    Manchester, a neighborhood on the north side of Pittsburgh, was designated a National Registered Historic District in 1975 and a City Historic District in 1981. You can learn about their annual House and Garden Tour that is held each summer.
  • The Squirrel Hill Historical Society
    Historical Society for the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill

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Allegheny County

  • Allegheny Foothills Historical Society (Plum)
    Allegheny Foothills Historical Society preserves the history of Plum Borough, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1788, Plum was one of the original seven townships of Allegheny County. The Society operates the Carpenter Log House (1822) located on Pierson Run Road in Boyce Park.
  • Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society
    Covering the valleys of the Allegheny and Kiski Rivers north of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society was founded in 1966. Located in Tarentum, the society maintains a museum and a historical database.
  • Battle of Homestead Foundation
    The Battle of Homestead Foundation (BHF) is a diverse organization of citizens, workers, educators and historians whose purpose is to preserve, interpret, and promote a people's history focused on the significance of the dramatic labor conflict at Homestead, Pennsylvania in 1892.
  • Dormont Historical Society
    Collects and preserves the history of Dormont Borough, a South Hills suburb
  • Green Tree Historical Society
    Located in the Green Tree Municipal Center
  • Monroeville Historical Society
    Maintains the Old Stone Church, McGinley House, McCully House, and the Little Stone Bridge in this suburban community east of Pittsburgh.
  • Pitcairn Historical Society
    The Borough of Pitcairn was born in 1894 and is named for Robert Pitcairn, a former superintendent of the Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
  • Robinson Township Historical Society
    The Robinson Township Historical Society was founded in 1989 with the goal of collecting and preserving information and artifacts related to the history of Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which encompasses not only what occurred within its present borders but also its historical borders which includes present-day Thornburg, Rosslyn Farms, Kennedy Township, and Pennsbury Village.
  • Sewickley Valley Historical Society
    The mission of the Sewickley Valley Historical Society is to promote interest in and to record, collect, preserve, and document the history of the Sewickley Valley
  • South Park Historical Society
    South Park Township, formerly Snowden Township, is comprised of older, smaller communities including Library, Bruceton, Broughton, Curry, Snowden, Knothole and Piney Fork.
  • Steel Industry Heritage Corporation
    A nonprofit organization dedicated to working with communities to conserve, interpret, promote and manage the historic, cultural, natural and recreational resources of steel and related industries in southwestern Pennsylvania

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Southwestern Pennsylvania
(outside of Allegheny County)

  • Baltzer Meyer Historical Society
    A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of Old Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania with an emphasis on Southwestern Pennsylvania families. Located in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
  • Beaver County Historical Research and Landmarks Foundation (BCHRLF)
    The official historical society of Beaver County, BCHRLF's mission is the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Beaver County's historical sites, records and artifacts.
  • Braddock Road Preservation Association
    Formerly the Jumonville Preservation Association
    Preserving the site where George Washington fought his first battles during the French and Indian War (1754-1763), where British Major-General Edward Braddock was buried, where lie traces of the first National Road, with its weigh stations, stagecoach stops, and toll houses.
  • Butler County Historical Society
    the official historical organization of Butler County founded in 1927.
  • Dunbar Historical Society
    Located south of Connellsville in Fayette County, Dunbar was originally called Frogtown.
  • Fayette County Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania
    Uniontown, PA.
  • Greater Monessen Historical Society
    Monessen is located on the Monangahela River south of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County.
  • Greene County Historical Society
    The Green County Historical Society Museum has 52 rooms housing more than 10,000 artifacts, all representing Greene Countyís rich history, dating from the early native Monongahela culture to the early 20th Century.
  • The Leechburg Area Museum and Historical Society
    The Leechburg Area Museum and Historical Society is located in the David Leech House -- the oldest house in Leechburg, located on the southwest border of Armstrong County.
  • Ligonier Valley Historical Society
    Maintains the Compass Inn Museum, an authentically restored 1799 stagecoach stop located along Route 30 in Laughlintown and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and sponsors Living History Weekends at the Compass Inn where artisans and re-enactors demonstrate 18th century and early 19th century skills.
  • Mercer County Historical Society
    Located north of Pittsburgh
  • Springs Historical Society of the Casselman Valley
    The Springs Historical Society of the Casselman Valley is a non-profit organization which sponsors the Springs Folk Festival, Farmerís Market, Museum, Public Programs, and annually publishes the Casselman Chronicles, a historical and geneaological journal. Springs is located in Somerset County on Route 669 between Salisbury, Pennsylvania (U.S. Rt. 219), and Grantsville, Maryland (U.S. 40, U.S. I-68).
  • Turkeyfoot Valley Historical Society
    The purpose of the organization is to study, collect and preserve documents, buildings, sites, landmarks, and other items of historical interest and aesthetic and social value relating to the history of the Turkeyfoot Valley area (Confluence, PA).
  • Victorian Vandergrift Museum and Historical Society
    Vandergrift is located northeast of Pittsburgh.
  • Washington County Historical Society
    Administers 3 museums, sponsors an annual conference, supplements school curricula, maintains a research library.
  • Westmoreland County Historical Society
    Founded in 1908, the Westmoreland County Historical Society is dedicated to promoting and fostering knowledge, understanding and appreciation of history in general and all aspects of the history of Westmoreland County and its people, including those areas within its former boundaries. Located in Greensburg, east of Pittsburgh.
  • Westmoreland Heritage
    Westmoreland Heritage is a county-wide partnership of organizations and individuals committed to expanding historical tourism and supporting efforts to educate county residents about their history.
  • Zelienople Historical Society
    The Zelienople Historical Society offers a unique collection of genealogical resources, an historic house (Buhl House) of the community's founders, and artifacts.


  • Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations:
    Contact information for the county historical societies and links to websites where they exist.
  • Pennsylvania Heritage Society
    The Pennsylvania Heritage Society is a revitalized support group for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and is a private nonprofit organization that funds the preservation and interpretation of Pennsylvania's history for future generations. It publishes a quarterly Pennsylvania Heritage magazine.
  • Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
    As the official agency of the Commonwealth for the conservation of Pennsylvania's historic heritage, the Commission oversees the care of historical manuscripts, public records, and objects of historic interest; museums; archaeology; publications; historic sites and properties; historic preservation; geographic names; and the promotion of public interest in Pennsylvania history.
  • Historical Society of Pennsylvania
    Founded in 1824, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is the largest independent center for research in Pennsylvania history and the largest genealogy center in the mid-Atlantic region. Since it is located in Philadelphia it tends to specialize in the history of that area. Most of its resources are located in Philadelphia rather than online but it does offer the Philadelphia Historical Digital Image Library in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson University.

United States - Selected State Societies

See also American Association for State and Local History.

These are state historical societies that have particularly good resources online.