We’re moving (temporarily)! Pennsylvania State Library Moving to Transitional Space During Renovation of Forum Building

I had planned on a different blog post for this time slot, but I haven’t heard back if I can share something I learned in a Facebook group.

I have family, specifically mother’s father’s line who first moved to the United States (U. S.) from Europe. Many of this group landed in or moved to Pennsylvania. End result I routinely check the Pennsylvania state website. I found this in one of my searches – We’re moving (temporarily)! State Library Moving to Transitional Space During Renovation of Forum Building: https://www.statelibrary.pa.gov/Pages/moving.aspx.

The historic Forum Building, which was built in 1931, will be renovated beginning in September of 2019.

During this time, the two Bureaus of the Office of Commonwealth Libraries will be temporarily relocated to buildings within Harrisburg’s Capitol Complex. This temporary relocation is expected to last approximately two years, or the duration of the renovation – which is expected to be completed by the fall of 2021.

The Office of Commonwealth Libraries, which includes the Deputy Secretary/Commissioner of Libraries and staff, will relocate to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126). The Bureau of Library Development will also relocate to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The Bureau of State Library, which includes the Main Library, Law/Government Documents, Rare Book Librarian, and Interlibrary Loan, will relocate to the Keystone Building (400 North St, Harrisburg, PA 17120).

The State Library Digitization Department and the Makerspace/STEAM classes will relocate to the State Museum of Pennsylvania (300 North St, Harrisburg, PA 17120).

Relocations for all of the above will begin in May 2019.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the State Library of Pennsylvania Relocation

Location: Keystone Building, North Street, 400 North St, Harrisburg, PA 17120

If entering from North Street, climb the set of steps into the Atrium and look for the glass walls to your left. The Forster Street entrance of the Keystone Building will be the only door open on Saturdays.

Hours: Tues., Wed., Thurs. from 9:30 A.M. to 5 P.M., second Saturday of each month from 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Parking: Metered parking on 3rd St. or Forster St.

What materials will be available to the public at the Keystone Building?

  • Genealogy: materials from each of Pennsylvania’s counties, including cemetery listings, immigration indexes, baptismal, marriage or other listings, city directories microfilm, and Genealogy/Local History Microfiche
  • Law: PA Code, Purdon’s, PA Bulletin from 1971-1994, some of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute materials
  • General reference: some reference materials, mostly resources for librarians to assist the public with searches
  • Government documents: only those documents acquired during the renovation period (2019-2021)
  • Access to all electronic resources will continue to be available to the general public, including Ancestry.com and Westlaw
  • Newspaper Microfilm: only Harrisburg newspapers will be available at the Keystone Building immediately following the relocation; materials that come in during the transitional period will be kept at the library or remote storage
  • Newspapers: the library will receive newspaper delivery service to the Keystone Building, and those materials will be kept onsite or in remote storage

What if I want something that is still in the Forum Building?

The Forum Building will be an active construction site, which means significant sections of the building will not be accessible. However, library staff may be allowed to enter certain areas of the building from time to time. If you submit a request, the staff will do their best to get the information or materials you need in a timely manner. Staff will contact requestors if they have questions or need more information to fulfill the request.

What if I need assistance?

Please email ra-relib@pa.gov or ra-law@pa.gov, or call the following numbers:

  • Reference: 717-783-5950
  • Circulation: 717-783-4169
  • Law/Government Documents: 717-787-3273


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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