Careers in Public History

EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES

American Alliance of Museums
Aviso Employment Resources
http://www.aam-us.org/aviso

American Association for State and Local History
Career Center
http://www.aaslh.org/jobsonline.htm

American Historical Association
AHA Job Listing (membership login required)
http://www.historians.org/jobs/index.htm

Chronicle of Higher Education
Job Listings
http://chronicle.com/section/Jobs/61/

Federal Government
Official Job Searching Website
http://www.usajobs.gov

History Associates
Employment Information and Listings
http://www.historyassociates.com/about/employment/

Histpres.com
Employment and Internship Listings
http://histpres.com/category/job

Humanities and Social Sciences Online
Job Guide
http://www.h-net.org/jobs/

Museum Jobs.com
http://www.museumjobs.com/

National Council on Public History
Careers and Training
http://ncph.org/cms/careers-training

National Park Service
Employment Information
http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/workwithus.htm

National Trust for Historic Preservation
Career Opportunities
http://www.preservationnation.org/career-center/

North Carolina Museum Council
Employment Listings
http://www.ncmuseums.org/jobs.asp

Smithsonian Institution 
Vacancy Listings
http://www.sihr.si.edu/jobs.cfm
 

 

 

ALUMNI OF PUBLIC HISTORY

The alumni of Appalachian State Univeristy's Public History program have found placement in a number of professional positions around the public history field.  The careers of a few of our graduates are highlighted below.

If you are an alumnae of our program, please email us and let us know what you have been doing!

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TIM TALBOTT 

JOB TITLE:
         Kentucky Historical Society; Education Project Assistant
 
 
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AND/OR ADVANCED DEGREE:
        BS, Milligan College (Communications)
        BS, East Tennessee State University (History)
        MA, ASU (Public History)
 
JOB DESCRIPTION:
        I am pretty much a jack of all trades here at KHS. I was hired to help plan and administer the Teaching American History grants that we both manage and partner with other institutions on, but I also have become that state coordinator for National History Day in Kentucky, and serve as the state contact for the Kentucky Junior Historical Society
youth program.
 
FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB:
        The favorite thing about my job is working with the teachers in the Teaching American History grants. Coming up with innovative ideas and primary source materials that they can use in class to inspire their students to learn about history is especially rewarding.
 
HOW DID YOU COME BY THIS POSITION:
        I lost my previous museum job (in Virginia) due to institutional funding cuts, so I located this opportunity doing an internet search and landed the job.
 
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS INTERESTED IN PURSING CAREERS PUBLIC HISTORY:
        Get your feet wet anyway you can. Experience is a big plus in this field. Do internships or volunteer if you can. You shouldn't expect to make millions in Public History, but you can expect to love your job.
 
 
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ALLISON WONSICK

JOB TITLE:
          Museum Assistant, Catawba County Historical Association
 
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AND/OR ADVANCED DEGREE
          B.A. History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
          M.A. Public History, Appalachian State Univeristy
 
JOB DESCRIPTION:
          I work in the Catawba County Museum of History, the Historic Murray's Mill site, and the Harper House/Hickory History Center.  I also designed a newsletter for the Historical Association and blog for the organization.

NEWSLETTER IMAGES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AMY SPARROW POTTS

 
JOB TITLE:
        Preservation Kentucky, Rural Heritage Development Initiative Field Representative
 
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AND/OR ADVANCED DEGREE:
        B.A. English, Berea College, Berea, Kentucky, 1996
        M.A. Appalachian Studies, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 2002
 
JOB DESCRIPTION:
        The Rural Heritage Development Initiative (RHDI) is a pilot program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation created to examine economic development opportunities through historic preservation in rural areas. I work in an eight county Central Kentucky region creating programming in heritage tourism, local business development, education and farmland preservation. Some of our projects include a Main Street like approach to revitalizing communities with populations of less than one thousand “Crossroad Communities”, creating a state-wide barn preservation program, advocating for farmland preservation and establishing a National Scenic Byway designation for the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Heritage Trail.
 
FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB:
        I really enjoy working with a diverse group of volunteers and enjoy working in the communities. I also like working in rural areas, because this is where I grew up and it has important meaning for me. The job is full of variety – so it’s never dull!
 
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE IN THIS POSITION:
        While pursing the M.A. in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State, I interned with the Kentucky Heritage Council, State Historic Preservation Agency compiling a cultural resources inventory for Appalachian counties in Kentucky. Dr. Charles Watkins was my intern advisor, and helped me make connections between this work and Public History. It was through this internship, that I became interested in looking at how preserving historic resources in rural areas has a positive impact on community development. Through connections made in this internship, I worked with the Kentucky Main Street program directly after graduation and eventually took the position with RHDI.
 
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS INTERESTED IN PURSUING CAREERS IN PUBLIC HISTORY:
        I would definitely advise taking an internship in a field which you are interested. There is no substitute for the connections and lessons learned. Also, be creative! Public History is a part of so many jobs out there. I’ve been able to combine interest in Historic Preservation and public history.
 
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 ROBIN SARRATT-COHEN
  

JOB TITLE:
        Vice President of Development, Lancaster County Historical Society
 
UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE AND/OR ADVANCED DEGREE:
        B.A. History and Anthropology, Appalachian State University
        M.A. Early American Culture, University of Delaware/Winterthur Program

JOB DESCRIPTION:
        I oversee all fundraising functions for the historical society, including annual giving, capital campaigns, grants, corporate, government, and individual giving. My primary task over the next two years will be to mount a multi-million dollar capital campaign.
 
FAVORITE PART OF YOUR JOB:
        Talking to people about the historical society and the history of their community. My training was in curatorial work, but I discovered quickly that I far prefer the “human” element of our work and I really enjoy being on the front lines promoting the institution to its supporters and community.
 
HOW DID YOU COME TO BE IN THIS POSITION:
        After graduating from ASU and working for ASULAS for a bit, I went to grad school at the University of Delaware through the Winterthur Program in Early American Culture. My two years there gave me great experience with museum administration and curatorial training, but it was my internship in development that really struck a chord. I took a position as grant writer at Winterthur immediately after graduation, and worked my way through the ranks for 6 years, most recently working as Director of Corporate and Foundations Relations at Winterthur, where I managed an annual goal of raising about $3 million for the museum and its functions from corporations and non-profit foundations. Last summer, I left Winterthur for the Lancaster County Historical Society. In part, my decision was based on a desire to return to a small, community-based museum, much like the ones I started with at ASU – The Appalachian Cultural Museum and the Newport Historical Society in RI, where I interned as a student.
 
WHY PUBLIC HISTORY?
        I have always been interested in history and particularly wanted to be involved in an application of history that would positively impact the public and have an opportunity to create a sense of community. The historical society I work at now accomplishes that – it brings together a broad range of people who care about where they came from or what happened in their area before them. I love that my institution is attempting to convey big-picture lessons about national history through local stories, people, places, and events.
 
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS INTERESTED IN PURSUING CAREERS IN PUBLIC HISTORY:
        Learn to write grants. Everyone needs a fundraiser, and every position in a museum environment will find themselves responsible for raising money at some point, even if it isn’t their primary role. Also take advantage of every mentoring opportunity you can. I’ve been lucky to find terrific mentors throughout the last decade, and they’ve made all my experiences better, more productive, and so much more fun! From Chuck Watkins at ASU to my director at the historical society now, I’m still trying to learn what I can! Oh, and if you start off doing something and it’s not what makes you happy – change it up. None of us get into the field of public history for the money (let’s face it), so you might as well really enjoy what you do!!
 
 
 

 


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