Since 2014, faculty and students from Messiah University and Harrisburg University of Science and Technology have produced a significant number of student and faculty digital projects related to the history of Harrisburg, its environs, and south-central Pennsylvania. For current projects, visit the Exhibits page. Below we include a complete list of our work since 2014.

  • Commonwealth Monument Project. A partnership with community organizations and state agencies in 2019-2020 to remember and celebrate the Old Eighth Ward and Harrisburg’s historic African-American community.
  • Old Eighth Ward. A collection of projects and exhibits related to the vanished community of the Eighth Ward, which lie under the modern capitol park.
  • Stories in Place. A compilation of interviews of Harrisburg residents and church members carried out by students of Professor Jean Corey of the Center for Public Humanities at Messiah University.
  • City Social. A spatial history project created by history and geospatial technology students and faculty of Harrisburg University and Messiah University, devoted to putting the entire population of Harrisburg on the map in 1900 to 1930.
  • Interactive Maps of Harrisburg in 1900. An off-shoot of the City Social Project, this map allows the visitor to see the city as it existed 120 years ago. See who was living in your house in 1900, or search for individuals in the city by last name. Harrisburg University and Messiah University faculty and students are currently working on extending the interactive map chronologically (to 1930).
  • City Beautiful. A class project devoted to preserving and showcasing the documents and images of Harrisburg’s City Beautiful movement, 1900-1915. Launched through Dr. Pettegrew’s Digital History course in fall 2014 and revised in subsequent years. 
  • Mapping the City Beautiful. Class projects for Dr. Pettegrew’s Digital History course that tell the story of Harrisburg’s late 19th and early 20th century reformers. The collection includes Story Maps, Omeka Sites, and WordPress websites:
  • Harrisburg Giants Documentary Project. A short documentary about the Harrisburg Giants, an American Negro League baseball team that fully integrated in the 1950s. Created by students in communication and film at Messiah University, the documentary features interviews with both original Giants players and local historians and reveals how determination and a “love of the game” led the team to win championships and reconcile racial differences despite the segregation of the early twentieth century.
  • Poetry in Place. Sponsored by Messiah University’s Center for Public Humanities, Poetry in Place has partnered with Harrisburg teachers and community leaders since 2015 to cultivate in students a deeper connection to the rich cultural, historical, and ecological roots of the city through field trips that nurture historical inquiry, followed by poetry workshops that invite students to contribute their own creative expressions and perspectives to the city. Messiah students and faculty have worked with Rowland Middle School, Marshall Math Science Middle School, and John Harris High School. All of the poems have been recorded and will eventually be made public through story-telling maps.
  • Church histories. Messiah University faculty and students in History, Ethnic and Area Studies, and Communication, as well as student fellows for the Center for Public Humanities, have partnered with Harrisburg churches to conduct oral histories and digitize and archive significant historical documents related to their communities: Wesley Union AME Zion church; Capital Presbyterian USA, an African American congregation founded in 1857; and St. Paul’s Episcopal, a multiethnic congregation. Digital documents and audio files will be made public when digitization and editing are complete.
  • Historic Harrisburg. An Omeka website devoted to historical exhibits of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Currently contains one exhibit related to the Paxton Presbyterian Church. Created by students in Dr. Fea’s Pennsylvania History course (2014).
  • Rural Pennsylvania. An Omeka website with historical exhibits on rural life in York, Cumberland, and Dauphin Counties, Pennsylvania. Created by students in Dr. Fea’s Pennsylvania History course (2014) and Dr. Pettegrew’s Historical Archaeology class (2014).
  • African-American PA. An Omeka website with historical exhibits devoted to African-American history in south-central Pennsylvania. Created by students in Dr. Fea’s Pennsylvania History course (2014).
  • The Big Dig at the Stouffer Farm. A website devoted to excavations and survey at an 18th-20th century farm and rural cemetery in Franklin Township, York County, PA, seven miles south of Dillsburg. The Stouffer Farm excavations were a collaborative investigation of Messiah University Department of History and the The Oakes Museum of Natural History.

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