South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

County minutes books taken to History Center


Allegheny County has formally transferred its minutes books covering the years of 1868-1999 to the Thomas & Katherine Detre Library & Archives at the Smithsonian-affiliated Senator John Heinz History Center.

An ordinance, approved by County Council and signed by the Executive, authorized the History Center to act as custodian of the records while also ensuring continued public access to the documents.

 While the formal authorization of the transfer occurred in April, the 160 minutes books of the County Commissioners were physically transferred on July 2. The first book dates to January 23, 1868, with the last book reflecting the final meeting under the three Commissioner form of government on December 27, 1999.

Forty minutes books of the Allegheny County Institution District which cover the years 1940 to 1977 have also been transferred. For its part, the History Center will maintain and preserve the county records under preservation guidelines established by the Society of American Archivists at no cost to the county. It will also provide public access to the records at the History Center.

 The minutes books can be viewed during the Archives’ hours of operation without appointment, Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1212 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, 15222. An appointment may also be made to view the books outside of those hours by calling the Reference Desk at 412-454-6374 or emailing

Access to the county minutes books is free for all visitors. Visitors will be given a special Detre Library & Archives sticker at the History Center Admissions Desk and directed to the sixth floor.


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