Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection


Collection Overview

Tom and Michele Ridge attending a 1997 breast cancer benefit

The Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection comprises approximately 1,100 linear feet of documents, audiovisual materials, and artifacts. By the time the repository is open for research use, we will have made available approximately 1,125,000 pages of documents, 3,000 audiovisual items, 10,000 photographs, and 1,500 artifacts. The collection mainly spans Secretary Ridge's time as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania governor (1995-2001) and documents many significant events of his administration. The acquisition is of great benefit to Mercyhurst University, both in terms of its potential on-campus use and for the creation of a robust research environment. The collection contains a wealth of significant primary materials, such as the Governor and First Lady's schedules throughout their tenure in Harrisburg, which includes the text of all their speeches. Mrs. Ridge was particularly diligent in the collection of related ephemera, which is of tremendous exhibition value. Other notable materials document the renovation of the Governor's residence and gardens, shipbuilding, international trade, and the marketing of the Commonwealth's natural and cultural resources. The First Lady's papers provide insight into her numerous public appearances and causes, ranging from the PA Partnership for Children to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. The collection is ripe for development as a teaching tool for several Mercyhurst programs, including intelligence studies, applied politics, public history, and marketing.

The Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection


The Thomas J. and Michele Ridge Collection at Mercyhurst University documents their public service, specifically focusing on Secretary Ridge’s term as the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania (1995-2001). Mercyhurst University’s Center for Archival Projects serves to preserve, arrange, and make available the Ridge Collection to students, faculty, scholars, and the public who wish to expand their knowledge of the Ridges’ years of public service to the city of Erie, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States.