History @ Work

History@Work is a multi-authored, multi-interest blog for all those with an interest in the practice and study of history in public. Learn More→

Where in the world is the Public History Commons?

Rockefeller Center Observation Deck. Photo credit: NVinacco

Rockefeller Center Observation Deck. Photo credit: NVinacco

If you’ve visited the website of the National Council on Public History lately, you’ll know that it’s been renovated and refreshed, with a brighter, cleaner look and (we hope) an easier-to-use design. Now it’s time for Phase II of the re-set, and since that involves the blog you’re reading—History@Work—and the space where it has lived until now—the Public History Commons—we wanted to explain what you can look for in the near future and some of the thinking that went into these changes. Continue reading

Professional opportunities Feb. 2, 2016

newspaper-in-fieldFrom around the field this week: Extended deadlines for Berkshire Conference and Nursing & Healthcare History conference proposals; conference on reenactment and fantasy-based movements in Lithuania; commemoration of anti-racism at Public History Discussion group in London; and more.

NOTE: This weekly listing of items of possible interest to practicing public historians will now appear as a regular blog post on History@Work rather than in the “News” sidebar as previously. Watch for the whole publichistorycommons.org site to make a move into the National Council on Public History website next week! Continue reading

National Park Service history webinars: A short survey

This exhibit from the Chancellorsville Visitor Center at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park imagines how historical documentation can inform interpretation of the Civil War. Photo credit: Joan M. Zenzen

The Organization of American Historians Committee on National Park Service Collaboration is hosting a short survey to determine interest in developing a series of webinars. These webinars would address a perceived need for information about NPS and its history with respect to such topics as contracting, job pursuits, and research and writing. Based upon the responses, the OAH Committee will work with qualified individuals within NPS and others from academic and/or public spheres to offer one or more relevant webinars. Continue reading

Professional opportunities Jan. 26, 2016

newspaper-in-fieldFrom around the field this week: “Heavy heritage” in Istanbul, awards for unsung supporters of archives, window restoration boot camp, and more!

NOTE: This weekly listing of items of possible interest to practicing public historians will now appear as a regular blog post on History@Work rather than in the “News” sidebar as previously. Watch for the whole publichistorycommons.org site to make a move into the National Council on Public History website soon! Continue reading

Professional opportunities Jan. 19, 2016

newspaper-in-fieldFrom around the field this week: Conference calls for nursing/healthcare history, African-American museums and genealogy, the future of urban preservationism, plus awards for archivists and their advocates.

NOTE: This weekly listing of items of possible interest to practicing public historians will now appear as a regular blog post on History@Work rather than in the “News” sidebar as previously. Watch for the whole publichistorycommons.org site to make a move into the National Council on Public History website soon! Continue reading

Ask a Public Historian Q&A: Nicole Belle DeRise

Interior of workbook.|Courtesy: Nicole Belle DeRise

Photo credit: Nicole Belle DeRise

This is the second in a new series “Ask a Public Historian,” brought to you by the National Council for Public History New Professional and Graduate Student Committee.

Nicole Belle DeRise is a Historian with the Wells Fargo Family & Business History Center. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, she was the Program Manager of Brooklyn Connections, an educational outreach program at the Brooklyn Public Library. Nicole has an MA in Public History from New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science and a BA in History and Italian from University of Massachusetts Amherst. She lives in Queens, NY.

What was your career trajectory?

After I graduated with an MA in Public History, I got my “dream job” at a great museum. Unfortunately, within two months, the museum was shut down due to funding, and I was laid off. Continue reading

Professional Opportunities Jan. 13, 2016

newspaper-in-fieldFrom around the field this week: extended deadline for international award for technology exhibits, a chance to weigh in on women’s history scholarship at the U.S. National Women’s History Museum, and more.

NOTE: This weekly listing of items of possible interest to practicing public historians will now appear as a regular blog post on History@Work rather than in the “News” sidebar as previously. Watch for the whole publichistorycommons.org site to make a move into the National Council on Public History website in the next couple of weeks! Continue reading

History Communicators: The next step

Illustration by visual note-taker Amanda Lyons, who will be one of the participants in the March 2015 History Communicators meeting at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Illustration by visual note-taker Amanda Lyons, who will be one of the participants in the March 2015 History Communicators summit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Used with permission.

In January 2015, I introduced the idea of History Communicators on this blog. “History Communicators, like Science Communicators,” I wrote then, “will advocate for policy decisions informed by historical research; step beyond the walls of universities and institutions and participate in public debates; author opinion pieces; engage in conversation with policymakers and the public; and work diligently to communicate history in a populist tone that has mass appeal across print, video, and audio. Most important, History Communicators will stand up for history against simplification, misinformation, or attack and explain basic historical concepts that we in the profession take for granted.”

But what might it actually mean to be a History Communicator in the twenty-first century? What are the core issues at the heart of communicating history in this new information age? This is what we’ll be asking at the first-ever summit on History Communication, March 4-5 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Continue reading