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Robin Van Auken: Public Archaeologist and Writer

Lance and Robin Van Auken

I’m Robin Van Auken. My work as a public archaeologist is to discover, recover and study material culture, as well as manage and market cultural heritage projects that celebrate discoveries made by others.

As the owner of Hands on Heritage, I help design, implement and promote projects that connect communities and conserve cultural legacies. I offer a range of professional services, from archaeological interpretation and education, to public relations and communication strategies.

Outcomes of my work can be seen throughout the region. I’ve helped organizations and communities celebrate milestone anniversaries, designed interpretive panels and historic markers, written local history books and conducted oral histories. I’ve also directed multi-year, public archaeology projects, working with hundreds of students and volunteers, and educating thousands of visitors.

If you enjoy Pennsylvania history, feel free to explore my local history books. I’ve co-authored several books with my husband, Lance, and also with our friend, Lou Hunsinger Jr. We have an assortment of narrative and photographic books I’m happy to share with you, including my tribute to Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper and Play Ball! The Story of Little League Baseball®.

Robin Van Auken’s Books

Hands on Heritage

Our perfect day is spent discovering and sharing a great story that celebrates heritage. We do this by designing and implementing creative projects that connect communities, tell stories that interpret and educate, provide recreational and open-space opportunities, conserve cultural legacies and embrace economic development.  No project is too small, nor too large, to discuss. Discover Hands on Heritage.

Robin Van Auken books

Williamsport Sun-Gazette: A Pictorial History

To honor the City of Williamsport’s Bicentennial, the Williamsport Sun-Gazette produced a three-volume, pictorial history. Most of the images have never been published in book form. Primary resources are Grit, Williamsport Sun, Gazette and Bulletin and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette archives.