What is Public History?

Generally speaking, public history involves the presentation of historical knowledge to the public, or exchanging that knowledge with the public, in a variety of places, and in a variety of ways. Public historians have traditional academic training in combination with practical experience in public history settings. Watch Professor Emeritus Dan Morrill answer the question, “What is Public History?

Where is public history practiced?

  • Museums
  • Historic sites
  • Archives
  • Libraries
  • Historical organizations & associations
  • Through websites
  • NGOs and non-profits
  • Local, state & national government
  • U.S. military
  • Businesses/corporations

What kind of job can I get with public history training?

  • Curator
  • Museum/historic site educator
  • Historic preservation specialist
  • Archivist
  • Researcher/historian with historical agency
  • Writer/editor
  • Living history specialist/historical interpretation
  • Journalist
  • Oral historian
  • Historical consultant
  • Corporate historian
  • Historian for a trade/labor or other non-profit organization
  • Web writer/editor (with some training in technology)

Links to employment can be found at:

Why study public history?
If you have a passion for history, and want a career other than teaching, courses in public history provide you with the training, skills and professional network to find jobs in a variety of settings.

Want to talk about a public history career?
Email or call the Program Director at 704-687-5135