PORC began in 1988 when it was established under the auspices of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, a nonprofit organization designed to “increase the knowledge of and foster the perpetuation of the natural biological diversity of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” The Survey consists of scientists, representatives of state and federal agencies, major natural history museums and scientific institutions, and interested individuals.
Subcommittees of the Survey were appointed for various classes of flora and fauna. The panel for birds is the Ornithological Technical Committee, which in turn organized the Records Committee in November 1988 as a subcommittee of its own. In an article in Pennsylvania Birds (2:91-94) soon after PORC was established, the journal’s Co-editor Franklin C. Haas wrote with satisfaction, “Pennsylvania will finally have a clearing house for ornithological records.”
The Records Committee held its first meeting in April 1989, attended by inaugural members Ed Kwater, Chairman; Barbara M. Haas, Secretary; Franklin C. Haas, Robert C. Leberman, Gerald D. McWilliams, Steven J. Santner, and Paul Schwalbe. Members have included professional ornithologists and experienced amateur observers during the committee’s history. Their expenses for travel to meetings, postage, and materials were originally subsidized by the Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Fund but PORC in 2012 joined with PSO who provides necessary funds.