Titusville PA Heritage Connection

http://titusvillepaheritageconnection.org

I’m really excited to finally unveil a project that’s long been in the works, the Titusville PA Heritage Connection. Started almost 3 years ago as a partnership between the Benson Memorial Library, Drake Well Museum, Titusville High School Alumni Association, and the Titusville Historical Society, the Titusville PA Heritage Connection website brings together these organizations in one place online to help anyone seeking genealogical and historical information about Titusville, PA.

I’m really excited about this project for a few reasons. The first is because it’s got a lot of great partners on board. We could have attempted to do this project on our own at my library but honestly it wouldn’t have grown into what it needed to be without the support and contributions from everyone else in the community. One of the reasons I love the Titusville community so much is because we all come together to help each other out. This project is an example of that in action.

The second reason is because this is something that this community needs and will benefit from very much. Titusville, PA has a rich history and there are so many people in this community and those that visit here who come here seeking to understand that history. In the past all of the organizations that are part of this group were all doing very similar work and not communicating all that much with each other. Each organization felt like we were all duplicating each other’s work and that didn’t need to happen. While this website won’t fix that completely, it is a very positive step in the right direction. It provides a starting point for those looking into Titusville, PA and gives them an idea of where to go next. It also acts as a central location for communication. Through this site we hope that those seeking to learn more about the history of Titusville, PA will connect with all of our organizations through this website. This will hopefully give all of our organizations the proper information we need to best serve those that need us.

Third and finally, it begins the long and never-ending process where all of our organizations begin thinking and acting on digitization and sharing. Local history and unique community specific documents and photos are great to collect, but what good are they if they are just stashed away in an acid free box in some special collection behind a locked door? These local history documents, from photographs to paperwork and more, need to be digitized and shared with the world. The world needs to see them so that they may understand where a community came from and hopefully provide a glimpse into where they are headed in the future.

Without further adieu, here’s the link to the Titusville PA Heritage Connection. Many thanks from me to everyone who was involved in this project: Jess Hilburn, Rhonda Clark, Melissa Mann, Sue Beates, Ron Wig, Heather Stewart, and all of the other interns that came through the Clarion University Library Science program through the years.

THE NEXT 4 paragraphs are taken from the press release:

The site was funded initially from a Community Fellows Grant from Clarion University of PA with participation from a faculty member and graduate students in the Department of Information and Library Science.

The website includes basic information and directions on where to go in the community for resources on such topics as Census Records, City Directories, Family & County Histories, Maps, Newspapers, Yearbooks, Genealogy Help, Titusville History, Vital Records, and Cemeteries. Two other main features of the website are the Online Exhibits and Collections. Both of these features showcase digitized images and documents relevant to our community’s rich local history.

The first of Online Exhibit offered through the Titusville PA Heritage Connection is dedicated to the Cederquist Family and was prepared by the Benson Memorial Library. The Cederquist Family gave permission to the Benson Memorial Library to feature the images used in this exhibit. Originally from Sweden, the Cederquists built a life and legacy in Titusville that is celebrated in this exhibit.

The first additions to the online Collections come from the archives at Drake Well Museum and feature historic photographs by John Mather. The other organizations who are part of the Titusville PA Heritage Connection will be adding Online Exhibits and Collections soon and these features will be updated on an ongoing basis. The website also provides access to the recently-published Titusville Design Guide for Historic Structures, a PHMC grant-funded document for the City of Titusville that provides information on renovating old houses, including advice for first priorities in your renovation plan, identification of historic features worth saving, and practical advice on repairs with an eye to cost and retention of character.

“Over the past few years the Benson Memorial Library has made it a priority to help all residents in our community get more in touch with their local roots and community. The Titusville PA Heritage Connection is such an important step forward because it not only provides a great entry point for any community members to start their journey but it also brings together so many great organizations in our community whose mission is to help preserve and share the history of our amazing community.” -Justin Hoenke, Executive Director, Benson Memorial Library

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