Libraries Open Publishing announces 100 Years of Western Pennsylvania History

By: Michele Barbin

Western Pennsylvania History ooverThe collaboration between the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society, Senator John Heinz History Center and Penn State Libraries Open Publishing reached a milestone — one hundred years of Western Pennsylvania History online and open to the public.

Published since January 1918, Western Pennsylvania History continues to document the region’s history through scholarship for a broad audience. This quarterly is believed to be the oldest continuously-published magazine west of the Allegheny Mountains. Originally titled Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, then Pittsburgh History in the 1990s, Western Pennsylvania History records the historical figures, towns, neighborhoods, archaeology, culture, sports, literature, architecture, railroading, industry, folk art, music and much more that embodies the diversity within the evolution of Western Pennsylvania.

Brian Butko, Editor of today’s award-winning Western Pennsylvania History, started as a volunteer in 1986: “When the historical society got its first computer, a little Macintosh, it was shared by four departments each day, literally by being carried between floors. The printing has evolved from lead linotype to computerized design and publishing. The only thing that has not changed is the corps of skilled researchers, writers, and editors all passionate about history.”

Thanks to the partnership between the Senator John Heinz History Center and Penn State University through Penn State Libraries Open Publishing, Western Pennsylvania History provides free online access to every issue of the journal published between January 1918 and January 2018, with more on the way. Each issue is a fully searchable PDF, making it easier than ever to research 100 years of articles and columns that chronicle Western Pennsylvania.

Browse through or search all 100 years of Western Pennsylvania History online. This resource is ideal for all educators and students from K-12 through higher education as well as a general audience. The transition to a larger magazine format in 1989 allowed for more photographs, illustrations and a wider range of articles in both subject and length. The Western Pennsylvania Historical Society’s commitment to scholarship from prehistory, frontier days, the Revolutionary War, Civil War, industrialization, two World Wars, the Renaissance and beyond endures.

The Libraries Open Publishing Program, a part of the new Digital Scholarship and Data Services department, currently publishes eight Open Access journals, five bibliographies, a Topical Web Portal publication, and an open access monograph. For more information on the Open Publishing Program, please visit, or contact Ally Laird at