Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pa. To Lay Off 85 Public History Workers

As if the bad economy wasn't tough enough, there's more bad news for public historians in Pennsylvania.

The Rendell administration announced that, among other budget cuts, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will lay off 85 employees, more than 25 percent of its staff.

PHMC's web site says to check back on Friday November 20 for "important information on field site operations." That doesn't sound good.

According to the Inquirer, PHMC's layoffs will affect Brandywine Battlefield State Park in Chadds Ford, Graeme Park Historic Site in Horsham, Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks County, and Hope Lodge in Fort Washington. UPDATE: The Delaware County Daily Times reports that the layoffs will not, in fact, affect Brandywine Battlefield State Park.

The State Museum and State Archives in Harrisburg will also close on Tuesdays as of December 1. (They are already closed on Mondays, and the archives are also closed on Sundays.)

These cuts are disheartening for many reasons, but as someone who's in the job market myself, I especially hate to hear that public history positions are being eliminated.

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