Revisit the Past with Resources from PT Library

Train traveling

Peters Township Public Library is in the process of formalizing the library’s local history resources into the Peters Township Public Library Historical Archives (PTPL Historical Archives). Through funding from The Peters Township Library Foundation, Carolyn Friedrich, Consulting Archivist, is leading the work to preserve and increase access to these historical materials assisted by Margaret Deitzer, Reference Librarian.

PTPL Historical Archives
The archives will document the evolution of Peters Township from a sparsely populated rural farming and mining community into a regional treasure – recognized for its outstanding quality of life and excellent school district. In the Local History Room at the library, Friedrich and Deitzer are recording the development of the township through the identification, collection, and preservation of materials with historical significance to the community. Each collection in the PTPL Historical Archives is first organized and described according to archival best practices. Once this meticulous work is completed, the public will be able to access the archival collections. Finding aids are under development to help anyone learn more about the content of each individual collection. When this work is complete later in 2021, visitors will be able to view the collection by appointment only.

Train traveling on the railroad line through McMurray. This rail line later became Arrowhead Trail. PTPL Historical Archives Hutchison family papers.

Pa Photos & Documents
Beginning in December 2020, the library launched an impressive collection of digitized archival materials on the statewide resource PA Power Library called Pa Photos and Documents. Pennsylvania Libraries have contributed treasured historic and cultural materials digitally to this remarkable collection. Friedrich and Deitzer will continue to digitize and add photographs and documents representing highlights from the history of the Township to the library’s new online collection.

The late John Opeka being interviewed in 2004 for “Life in Peters Township.”

Oral History Recordings
In addition to the photographs and documents available in this online resource, the library has added oral history recordings and transcripts from the project “Life in Peters Township” to the collection. The library worked with the Senator John Heinz History Center Oral History Service on this project beginning in 2003. Interviewees shared stories about their life, memories, and experiences about growing up, working, and living in Peters Township. While the transcripts have been publicly available in the library for years, this addition to library’s materials in Pa Photos and Documents will increase access to this rich resource on Peters Township History.

Peters Township High School Class of 1940. PTPL Historical Archives Lansdown-McMurray family papers.

To Donate Original Materials
We are extremely grateful to the many individuals and families who donated their original historical items to form the collections that now comprise the PTPL Historical Archives. These collections consist primarily of photographs, programs, business and legal records, deeds, maps, scrapbooks, and other ephemera. For those interested in donating original materials to these archives, please email to learn more.

To visit the Peters Township Public Library’s collections in PA Photos and Documents, visit and select the drop-down menu under “Resources”. Go to “All Resources – A to Z” and scroll down and select PA Photos and Documents. Enter “Peters Township Public Library” in quotations to review the collections.

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