New online encyclopedia highlights history & culture of Centre County

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Whether you’re looking to learn more about the Grange Encampment Fair, Penn State University football, Bellefonte’s Central Railroad, or anything in between, Centre County’s history is now available with the click of a button.

An online encyclopedia of history and culture holds scholarly entries on the area’s people, places, and events.

“There hasn’t been a written history of Centre County done for 100 years,” said Lee Stout, co-editor of the Centre County Encyclopedia of History & Culture.

About 40 volunteers collaborated over 18 months to create the encyclopedia.

“From the beginning we wanted it to be a real community effort, we didn’t want this just to be the product of a few people, we wanted to invite authors and photographers and folks from across the county to participate,” said Ford Risley, co-editor of the Centre County Encyclopedia of History & Culture. “That’s one of the things I think we’re really proud of,”

“We have several people working on copy editing, we have university interns, and a number of people who were helping out, reading articles, and just making suggestions and contributions, so it’s a broad array of people,” said Stout.

The editors said the database includes articles that are easy to read, and they encourage community members to dive into the free resource.

“We’re real believers that you should know the history of where you live and this Centre County really has a rich history that goes back more than 200 years,” said Risley.

The resource is sponsored by the Centre County Historical Society and the website was created through a grant from the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.

It’s an evolving encyclopedia that the editors say will be updated regularly.

“This is a project that’s going to continue for the indefinite future, as long as people are making contributions and seeing it grow, we will continue to expand the encyclopedia,” said Stout.

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