Public history is a vast and diverse field with practitioners working in many different settings. Not everyone even agrees on a definition of public history!
We’re only able in this course to brush the surface of this fascinating field. But below are links to some additional resources to help you explore the field further. Many of these sites also contain job listings:
- National Council on Public History
- Main professional organization for public historians working in all settings.
- NCPH’s History@Work blog: Great source of smart short articles on all sorts of public history issues.
- NCPH’s job listings page
- NCPH’s “Off the Wall” blog: “critical reviews of history exhibit practice in an age of ubiquitous display.” In 2012, this blog ceased publishing, as NCPH’s digital presence migrated to the Public History Commons, anchored by History@Work (see above).
- The Public Historian
- NCPH’s journal. For thirty years, the journal of record for the field. Full-text online access through UNC libraries (ONYEN required).
- Co-sponsored by NCPH and part of H-Net, a discussion listserv for conversation and announcements regarding public history, although conversation has in recent years migrated to the History@Work page, discussed above. You can also visit the discussion archives and the H-Net job postings page.
- American Association for State and Local History
- Another professional organization that many public historians participate in. This one is perhaps a bit more practically oriented than NCPH; conferences tend to include many sessions relevant to professionals working in public history institutions now.
- American Association of Museums
- American Conservation Experience: Has job/internship opportunities.
- American Historical Association Resources (The AHA is the major professional organization for historians practicing in all settings.)
- AHA Today: American Historical Association’s blog, which includes many posts of interest to public historians.
- “Careers for Students in History”
- “Practical Advice on Getting a Public History Job”
- Resources for Public Historians page
- “What I Do: Historians Talk about Their Work”: Profiles of historians working in many areas.
- Beyond Academe
- Website on careers for historians outside the academy
- George Wright Society
- Important professional organization “connecting people, places, knowledge, and ideas to foster excellence in natural and cultural resource management, research, protection, and interpretation in parks and equivalent reserves.”
- National Association for Interpretation
- National Trust for Historic Preservation
- National Park Service
- NPS “Work with Us” Page (all types of employment)
- Pathways Program for students and recent graduates
- Youth Programs: Getting Involved (various student/youth programs/jobs/internships)
- Student Jobs and Internships in heritage documentation
- NPS “Doing Business with Us” Page (includes contracting information)
- North Carolina Museums Council
- North Carolina State Government Internship Program
- North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office
- Organization of American Historians/National Park Service partnership
- Preservation Directory.com
- Preservation North Carolina
- Public history internship programs (page hosted by Wright State University)
- Teaching with Historic Places (a program of the National Park Service)
- Society for History in the Federal Government
- Society of American Archivists
- Student Conservation Association: Has many job/internship opportunities, including in/around cultural resources work in National Parks.
- USAJobs (US Government jobs website; all government jobs, including National Park Service, listed here)
- Wikipedia: “Public History”
- One other attempt to define our field.
Doing graduate work in public history: Before you start, check out NCPH’s Public History Navigator, a guide to choosing a graduate program.
Public History M.A. Programs in North Carolina
- Appalachian State University
- North Carolina State University
- Western Carolina University
An innovative model of what a Ph.D. program in Public History can look like: Middle Tennessee State University. Also, to watch: NC State’s new Public History Ph.D. program, launched in the fall of 2014.