Saint Francis University classes will be operating on a 2 hour delay for Friday, November 16, 2018. View the compressed class schedule.
The Keirn Family World War II Museum at Saint Francis University (Loretto, Pa.) is a significant collection that captures the essence of the “Greatest Generation” and paints a picture of life in the 1940s that goes far beyond the battlefield as told through the stories of the men and women of Pennsylvania.
The Keirn Family World War II Museum at Saint Francis University houses several special collections of artifacts and oral history projects. The origins of the primary collection lie with Altoona resident Joseph E. Keirn, a retired Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army.
An avid preservationist of WWII memorabilia, CSM Keirn used his collection as an
educational tool, welcoming students and community groups to tour it and learn
about life during the war. In 2014, he donated his collection to Saint Francis
University to ensure that it would continue to be used to educate future
generations regarding the legacy of the war. His once private collection, combined with additional donations, is now available for public viewing and scholarly research.
160 St. Mary's Street
FALL HOURS: Monday 1:00-4:00pmWednesday 1:00-4:00pmWe will be closed on the following days:Oct 15 (Fall Break)Nov 21, 2018 (Thanksgiving Break)Dec 10, 2018 to Jan 9, 2019 (Christmas Break)
PERIOD ROOMIn this room, you will be immersed in the atmosphere of a World War II era living room that will provide insights and local stories about the home front.
BUILD UP TO THE WARThese exhibits highlight the build up to war in Europe and Asia prior to U.S. entrance in December 1941. Our archival collection houses numerous Nazi artifacts brought back by soldiers who served in the European theater.
This room provides an overview of World War II, as told by local veterans in sources including oral history interviews, letters, photographs, mess kits, and weaponry.
You can write letters or cards to give to local veterans or to veterans serving overseas. There are other interactive displays that allow you to reflect on the lessons of war and share your personal stories with other visitors.
ORAL HISTORY PROJECTWe want to capture the memories of World War II from those who experienced it or from their family members. Please contact us if you are interested in sharing your story or your family members’ story. We have oral history interviews from local World War II veterans or their family members and we are very
interested in conducting an interview with you!
THE JOSEPH E. & SHIRLEY J. KEIRN
WORLD WAR II COLLECTION Our generous donors, Joseph E. and Shirley J. Keirn, collected numerous artifacts and personal effects from World War II veterans. Their contributions have preserved numerous histories that would otherwise be lost.
SPECIAL COLLECTIONSSeveral individuals, including Vincent Hagg ’50, and the family of Renato Ferretti ’43, have donated artifacts, papers, and personal items Please visit the museum to hear more about these and other collections as well as the donors’ wall of honor.
DONATE AN ARTIFACT
Our collection is continually growing and we accept certain donation of World War II artifacts, especially from Pennsylvanians. If you have any questions about whether an artifact might fit in our collection, please contact us.
a part of Saint Francis University, education and interaction are central to
our mission. Students may conduct research in our archival collections and
local schools, veterans’ groups, and community organizations are welcome for
We offer several options for preserving the memory of World War II and our community’s history:
BECOME A MEMBER
Joining our membership program shows your commitment to preserving the history and stories of World War II. As a member, you will receive notification of special events and our newsletters.
Give a gift in honor of or in memory of a friend or family member. You can also give donations as retirement, graduation, birthday, anniversary, or in recognition of military service gifts. The name of the person honored or memorialized will be displayed on our website.
PROVIDE AN ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWWe want to capture the memories of World War II from those who experienced it or from their family members. Please contact us if you are interested in sharing your story or your family members’ story. We have oral history interviews from local World War II veterans or their family members and we are
very interested in conducting an interview with you!
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIESIf you were a veteran, Rosie the Riveter, or served in some way during World War II, please consider speaking to students in our museum. You can contact us to let us know about your interest and we will arrange a visit.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with archival work, museum curation, or special events, please contact us.
GENERAL DONATIONYou can also make a one-time donation to support the preservation of artifacts and continued student research in our collections.
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