Robin Van AukenI’m Robin Van Auken, a public archaeologist and educator with a journalism background.

I teach American Archaeology at Lycoming College and direct multi-year, public archaeology projects, working with hundreds of students and volunteers, and educating thousands of visitors.

I also teach communications / media writing at Lycoming College, and direct its summer youth program, Lycoming College for Kids.

My educational specialties include developing curricula for learners of all ages, mentoring students and overseeing their independent projects and internships.

With my husband, Lance Van Auken, I operate Hands on Heritage, a consulting firm that helps its clients discover, explore, celebrate and share their cultural heritage through a variety of unique projects. Offering a range of historical research and interpretive services, we can help you tell your story in the format that suits your needs, while adhering to the highest standards of historical practice.

Projects and Case Studies: Hands on Heritage

Hands on Heritage accepts projects based upon merit and interest. We work with for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, as well as communities and educational facilities.

Our combined background is in education, anthropology, communications and sports management. We work with a variety of clients, from companies observing an anniversary, to communities celebrating centennial milestones. We have extensive museum experience, coordinating and implementing project development from inception to opening day.

From developing museums and parks to editing pamphlets and memoirs, projects can be large or small. As professional writers, we produce commemorative books that not only celebrate an organization or event, but stay fresh on a bookshelf for decades.

Click on a project to read more.

Little League Baseball and Softball

Muncy Historical Society

NCC8, Society for PA Archaeology

  • NCC8 Public Archaeology Digs (Webmaster: Robin Van Auken)
  • Archaeological site investigation and registration
    • Fisher Site — 36LY0316
    • Glunk Site — 36LY0345
    • Allegheny Airlines Flight 371 Crash Site — 36LY0351

City of Williamsport

Williamsport Sun-Gazette Newspaper

Other Local History Books

Hands on Heritage helps its clients discover, explore, celebrate and share their cultural heritage through a variety of unique projects. Offering a range of historical research and interpretive services, we can help you tell your story in the format that suits your needs, while adhering to the highest standards of historical practice. We can shepherd your project to completion, or lend a hand when needed. Hands on Heritage is operated by Lance and Robin Van Auken, writers, historians and museum specialists with a combined 50-plus years of experience.Visit Hands on Heritage website
News of Yesteryear is dedicated to educating and entertaining visitors of all ages with stories and illustrations of Historic Pennsylvania — particularly Northcentral Pennsylvania. We feature articles and artwork by individuals, as well as reporters and photographers of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and other newspapers that span the 200-year history of journalism in Lycoming County. Some of the notable newspapers with origins in Williamsport are the Lycoming Gazette, the Gazette and Bulletin, the Williamsport Sun, Grit, and the Luminary.Visit News of Yesteryear's website
Play Ball! The Story of Little League® Baseball is the remarkable story of Little League® Baseball, from the first diamond in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to the playing fields of the world. “Play Ball!” charts Little League’s history from the earliest days and shows how, in many respects, its history parallels America’s history: isolation in the beginning; rapid expansion; a civil war of sorts, followed by reconstruction; struggles over civil rights and gender equity; and foreign entanglements. A microcosm of American society, Little League reflects trends.Visit Play Ball's website