(Philadelphia, PA – January 18, 2011) – William Penn’s 1698 family Bible will be used in the swearing-in ceremony at tomorrow’s inauguration of Governor-elect Tom Corbett after it was made available through the coordinated efforts of several historical institutions working together behind the scenes led by the PHMC, its Chairman Wayne Spilove announced today. After the ceremony, the Penn bible will be held at the State Archives and presented to the public at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in March.
William Penn BibleSpilove stated, “PHMC Executive Director Barbara Franco received the request from the Corbett Transition team for the William Penn Bible and in turn contacted its owner, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP). Thanks to the harmonious cooperation of everyone involved, particularly that of HSP President and CEO Kim Sajet, the new governor will take the oath on this historic bible and the public will be able to get a rare look at the artifact.”
The PHMC, whose theme for 2011 is “Religion in Pennsylvania,” will present the bible to the public at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg in March along with other William Penn artifacts prior to returning it to HSP.
State Archivist David Haury will accompany the William Penn Bible – last used in an inauguration ceremony over 30 years ago by Governor Dick Thornburgh – to the inauguration and from there to the State Archives where it will remain until it is then transported to the State Museum of Pennsylvania and finally returned to HSP. Kim Sajet commented, “Together with PHMC and others, HSP seeks to work across the state to support all of the rich history and heritage organizations that exist to educate our citizens, engage our visitors, and inform our ambitions.” Sajet received the request and was able to gain the support of her board of directors and respond affirmatively to PHMC within 24 hours.
Wayne Spilove stated, “It’s important for Pennsylvanians to know how hard their historians and archivists work to make the rich history of our Commonwealth come to life. Swiftly borrowing and transporting priceless artifacts is no easy feat, and I applaud the efforts of the members of PHMC and HSP who understand the social and historical value of employing these artifacts in public life.”