Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Historical society a hidden treasure

on June 18, 2014 10:50 AM

Did you know Indiana County has a historical society?

Historical societies are commonly associated with history buffs, but they are actually important to all members of the community. They preserve and collect artifacts significant to the history and heritage of the community.

Local historical societies face many issues today, especially financial and technological issues. Historical societies rely on memberships to operate, but with the advance of technology, financial issues are increasing while foot-traffic is decreasing. Technological advances enable people to conduct their own historical research at home, but historical societies have a lot to offer, especially with artifacts that one can see up close and personal.

When it comes to technology, however, not everyone is up to speed. Thus, the society needs volunteers who can easily learn and assist others with new software programs. For example, PastPerfect Museum software offers a better way to catalog and keep track of artifacts, but it can be difficult to navigate without proper instruction.

The Historical & Genealogical Society of Indiana County is located in the old armory building on Wayne Avenue behind the Clark House, and there is something there for everyone. As Coleen Chambers, executive director, explains, the historical society is “a place where you can sink your teeth into a project.” That project ranges from something a researcher is working on, to a visitor exploring the contents of the museum, to a volunteer’s task.

The society offers many programs throughout the year, partnering with other organizations in the community. For example, the Rest on Arms statue on the Clark House front lawn brought together many community organizations, along with Indiana residents, thereby showing how our historical society fosters a sense of pride in our town.

I urge everyone — students, teachers, schools and individuals — to take advantage of this resource that provides education to our community through exhibits and research materials, and is also a place to enjoy the county’s past. I urge you to visit the historical society and learn from the past to better the community for the future.

Allen Fiechuk


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