Historical Society of Pennsylvania Appoints Senior Director of Programs and Services

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) announced this week the appointment of Beth Twiss Houting as the new Senior Director of Programs and Services, responsible for all on-site, online, and outreach education, interpretation, and history and heritage programs of the organization. She will begin December 1, 2010.

Ms. Twiss Houting holds a BA (History Honors) from Pennsylvania State University, an MA from the University of Delaware in the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and Museum Studies, with significant training in Sociological Research. Until recently she was the Director of Education at the Chester County Historical Society. She has held a number of important positions during her career including: Associate Professor and Director of the Museum Communication Program at the University of the Arts; Vice President of Interpretation at the National Constitution Center; Curator of Education at Winterthur; and Director of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion.

Ms. Twiss Houting is also no stranger to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, having worked as a consultant on a number of web-related education programs and National History Day initiatives. She is tremendously aware of the Society’s collection and has strongly established relationships with other colleagues in the Greater Philadelphia history and heritage community.

“I am tremendously excited to welcome Beth to HSP,” reports Kim Sajet, the Society’s President and CEO. “We have been looking for a while for a dynamic individual who can help launch new and exciting programs that engage educators, their students, family and community historians, researchers, and anyone who loves history. It is particularly gratifying to know how well Beth is respected by her colleagues in the history and heritage community, and that as a result she will be able to further develop projects we have recently started such as PhilaPlace, National History Day, the History Affiliates Program, and a host of online efforts that include digital document transcription and new approaches to publications.” 

“Ms. Twiss Houting will be a member of the executive team, and her first task will be to work with staff in the programs and services department to develop a strategic plan for their activitiesand a road map for the future,” commented Dr. Page Talbott a member of the Board of Councilors and Chair of the Collections and Programs standing committee. “This will be particularly important as we begin to build new lecture spaces, classrooms, and document display areas as part of a major capital improvement project in the next three years. She will have a lot on her plate as the Society is moving fast on a number of fronts!”  

“I am very excited to join HSP at this point in its history when it is positioned to become a more public and audience-oriented institution," Ms. Twiss Houting said. “The collections are deeper and richer than many people realize. I look forward to working with the staff to share these resources here in the City and around the world though various programs of outreach.”