Theses (Historic Preservation)


Sarah Knauer

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



This thesis evaluated the process by which the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) deaccessed its publicly owned historical sites through the Blue-Ribbon Report (1981) and the Blue Ribbon Committee (1997) to determine sites response and determine which typology of deaccession was the Most, Less, and Least successful. As a direct result of drastic budgets cuts by the Commonwealth PHMC’s sites that it directly administrated and operated dropped from 57 in 1981 to 14 in 2019. The first report in 1981 split the 57 sites into three groups of importance (Most, Less and Least ) based on integrity, significance, and historical value. The second report in 1997 ranked the remaining 27 non-deaccessed sites on the same three criteria with the addition of audience potential and community support. Washington Crossing Historic Park, Morton Homestead, Daniel Boone Homestead, and the P.A Military Museum were selected for evaluation that reflected the four methods of deaccession by PHMC: Transferred, Leased, Partnered, and retained. Through the analysis and interviews held with the four sites gauged how the site responded at the time the reports were released, awareness as of 2020 of the rankings, how deaccession transition occurred, supporting Friends group response, identification of other deaccession factors, and current status of the site. Once addressed, it was possible to ranking the four deaccession typology resulting in: Most-Transfer, Less-Partnered and/or Retained, Least- Leased. This information provides a better understanding of deaccession processes based on budget cuts that could better enhance community, public and administrative understanding.


Deaccession, Blue Ribbon Report, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Placed Property, Partnered Property



Date Posted: 16 September 2020