FREE Museum Passes, Experience Kits
Checkout Starts June 1
Not only does having a library card allow you to take home books, but now you can check out passes to museums that are just a short drive away from home.
PLSJ is in partnership with the History Center Affiliates Program and the Whitehall Public Library to offer free admission for up to four people for seven different kits to historical sites and museums in the Pittsburgh area and to one hometown favorite:
•Heinz History Center (includes admission to Fort Pitt Museum and Meadowcroft Rockshelter)
•Historic Fort Steuben
•Duncan & Miller Glass Museum
•Merrick Art Gallery
•Old Economy Village
•Somerset Historical Center
•West Overton Village Museum & Distillery
Pick one kit at checkout. Experience Kits check out for one week at a time and can be reserved in advance. Return the Experience Kit on the due date so another person or family can check it out too.
Experience Kits are available for FREE at each PLSJ location June 1 through December. However, the Heinz History Center kit is available year-round!
On May 21, PLSJ will have a kick-off event at the Main Library to celebrate this new service. On this date you can visit your PLSJ branch to pre-register for a time slot for a Museum Experience Kit!
Heinz History Center
The Heinz History Center is one of Pittsburgh’s oldest cultural organizations. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum contains six floors of long-term and changing exhibits with hands-on activities, as well as a multitude of events and programs.
Your admission ticket also provides access to Fort Pitt Museum and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village!
Fort Pitt Museum
The Fort Pitt Museum tells the story of Western Pennsylvania’s vital role during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Through interactive exhibits, life-like historical figures and artifacts, visitors can discover the important role that our region played in shaping the country.
Your admission ticket also provides access to the Heinz History Center and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village!
Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village
A variety of tours and educational experiences are offered at Meadowcroft, a National Historic Landmark. Investigate archeology and the prehistoric people who lived in the area 19,000 years ago; travel 400 years into the past to explore a re-created 16th century Indian village; explore an 18th century frontier trading post; visit a 19th century rural village while learning from re-enactors; and more!
Your admission ticket also provides access to Fort Pitt Museum and Heinz History Center!
Historic Fort Steuben
Historic Fort Steuben was built in 1786 by the First American Regiment for the protection of surveyors who had been sent by the Continental Congress to map the Northwest Territory. Visitors can tour the reconstructed fort to see the soldiers’ quarters guardhouse, hospital, and commissary, as well as the Federal Land Office. Historic Fort Steuben’s many exhibits, tours, and events tell the story of the daily life of the men who helped open the territories to settlement.
Duncan & Miller Glass Museum
Before the Pittsburgh area became known for its steel, it was once known as the glass manufacturing center of our country. Opened in 1893, the Duncan & Miller Glass Company became famous for its workers’ skill, the artistry of designs, and the glass colors.
The National Duncan Glass Society was formed in 1975 to keep alive the history of glass companies, to study their impact on the economic development of the region, and to celebrate the men and women who made it possible.
Merrick Art Gallery
The Merrick is home to a collection of French, German, English and American paintings from the 18th and 19th Century, featuring examples of romantic, realistic, and impressionistic art by prominent American and European artists. In addition, a piano played by composer, Stephen Foster, is on display.
Old Economy Village
Old Economy Village tells the fascinating story of the Harmony Society, a 19th century religious community. Visitors can tour the Visitor Center and many of the settlement’s buildings such as the George Rapp House, Carriage House, Mechanics Building, Wine Cellar, Store, Post Office, Baker House, Bake Oven, Community Kitchen, Cabinet Shop, Blacksmith Shop, and Granary. In these buildings, visitors can observe artifacts on display and learn about the daily life of the Harmonists.
Somerset Historical Center
The Somerset Historical Center is a 150-acre rural history museum, which preserves the history of life in southwestern PA through a wide range of exhibits, workshops, and educational programs. At the Visitor Center, stories of the people of southwestern PA through objects of everyday frontier life; also on the grounds visitors can see a 1770’s farmstead with sparse furnishings, a more permanent 1830’s farmstead, an early 19th century covered bridge, a cider press, and a maple sugar camp from 1860.
Workshops are offered on traditional skilled crafts and trades, such as cottage craft coopering, tinsmithing, decorating Pysanky eggs, blacksmithing, rug hooking, and folk toy making.
West Overton Village Museum & Distillery
West Overton Village is the only pre-Civil War village intact in Pennsylvania. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a stop on the American Whiskey Trail. The Village represents the transformation of American culture from an agrarian society with the production of the coverlets and the distilling operation, to a more industrial society with the excavation of coal and ultimately the production of coke, a necessary ingredient for steel.
Today visitors can tour the restored Village’s remaining buildings, including the Overholt Homestead, the Spring House where Henry Clay Frick was born, and the Distillery Museum.