Public historians present, interpret, and help to preserve history in a variety of venues and diverse formats. Specifically, public historians strive to apply their historical skills, knowledge, and insights in public settings and for public audiences not often associated with history in an academic setting, such as archives, museums, historic sites, public and private agencies and corporations, and non-profit organizations, to name only a few.
Public History Opportunities
At Stephen F. Austin State University students have the opportunity to develop these public history skills in a number of ways. Located southeast of Dallas and northeast of Houston in deep East Texas, Nacogdoches is ripe with many internship opportunities. As the only university in the area with a public history program, students commonly find positions or opportunities to work with museums, archives, and historic sites, as well as to find work on preservation grants and with historical societies, among other things. Our professors are intimately associated with the public history program and students are able to benefit from diverse classes and faculty expertise, ranging from memory, to the material world, to preservation, to commemoration, to cultural resources management, to public policy, to museums, to archives, to collections management, to oral history, to local history, and more. Put differently, our faculty members here at SFA are as diverse as the students they work with and are well qualified and eager to serve.
Public History Training
Stephen F. Austin State University's Public History Program strives to train students as historians - historians who deal with a passionate, engaged, and extremely diverse public audience. We offer broad training for practicing, presenting, and preserving history outside the traditional university or classroom setting. Students are trained in historical methods, with an emphasis on delivering historical scholarship in a variety of forms. Besides the many unique courses offered in the public history program, students are also trained in courses designed to enhance their history skills and knowledge, such as historiography and seminars. Students trained in public history often find jobs in such varying fields as archives and libraries, government agencies, National Parks, historic houses, living history sites, corporate consulting and history, historic preservation, urban planning, cultural resources management, museums, historical societies, documentary editing and film, and journalism. We are listed in the NCPH's Guide to Public History Programs. Here is the one-page pdf description of our program. In our academic program we strive to exceed the best practices as outlined by the National Council on Public History in its 2015 guide to public history education, the Public History Navigator.
The 2016 National Emerging Museum Professionals Network Survey is now available.
The AASLH - AHA - NCPH - OAH Joint Task Force on Public History Education & Employment is conducting a survey of alumni of Masters' programs in public history and related fields in the United States and Canada. In order to obtain widespread distribution, we are asking directors of public history programs to forward the survey to alumni. Please urge alumni to complete the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/phalumni. We are interested in students who graduated with degrees in public history and related fields, as well as those who attended programs but did not complete a degree.
It is hot, dirty work but the graduate assistants are up to the task - even in the 100+ degree heat index! See pictures below from our "Nac 300 Event" cleaning at Oak Grove Cemetery on September 16, 2016.
- Curatorial Intern in clothing and textiles opening at Nantucket Historical Association to be completed in Spring and/or Summer 2017; housing and stipend available (announced 9-30-16)
- Volunteers are needed for the 3rd Annual El Camino Real de los Tejas Festival at Caddo Mounds State Historic Site on Saturday, October 22, 2016.
- Mission Delores State Historic Siteis accepting applications for its Spring 2017 Internship. You may received graduate credit for this work through HIS583 - Practicum in Public History.
- The George Ranch Historic Park is accepting applications for its 2017 Spring Internship. Compensation includes a $2,500 stipend for 25-weeks, 40-hours per week. Deadline to apply is October 15, 2016.
- Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site, Texas Historical Commission, Fall Internship 2016. Option I/Collections: Interns may work on one or more of the following projects: packing and storing artifacts; cataloging and researching the museum collection; taking digital photographs of artifacts; re-housing and cleaning artifacts; data entry of collections records; and organizing site resources. Option II/Interpretation: Interns may work on one or more of the following projects: develop themed tours of historic house; develop engaging programming and events for the Sam Rayburn House State Historic Site; develop off-site programming and outreach for schools and other community organizations; and develop multi-sensory tours and/or accessible tours for groups with various abilities. This is an unpaid position. Submit resume, official transcript and the completed Texas Historical Commission internship application, found here: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/about-us/job-openings/internship-program to: Texas Historical Commission Staff Services, Attn: Internship Program P.O. Box 12276 Austin, TX 78711.
- George Ranch Historical Park in Richmond, Texas is accepting applications for its six-month 2016 Fall/Winter Internship. This 40-hour per week position includes a $2500 stipend and housing for the 25 week internship.
- George Mason University is offering a Digital Humanities Certificate as a 15 credit-hour cooperative program between the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and the Smithsonian Associates.