Resources for Public History Educators at the Graduate and Undergraduate level

NCPH has long been involved in the education of public history graduate students. This page offers a range of resources to guide and inform educators.

Recommended Readings

The NCPH Curriculum and Training Committee is compiling annotated bibliographies of select books and articles for use in public history education.  Please contact the committee at [email protected] with your comments, questions, or suggestions.

Cultural and Heritage Tourism
History and Memory
Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management
Introduction to Public History
Oral History
The Public Historian

For a list of the articles that have won the NCPH’s G. Wesley Johnson Award over the years, click here.

Best Practices

The NCPH Curriculum and Training Committee develops “best practice” documents for public history curricula and programs. Recognizing that each graduate or undergraduate institution has its own goals, resources, and needs, we hope these documents will highlight some of the core elements to which every program can aspire. Please contact the committee at [email protected] with your comments.

Establishing and Developing a Public History Program
MA Programs

Undergraduate Programs
Certificate Programs

Guide to Public History Programs

The GUIDE TO PUBLIC HISTORY PROGRAMS is a comprehensive resource for prospective students, faculty, employers, and anyone interested the shape of public history education today. Standardized formatting makes it easier to compare resources and practices, whether at graduate or undergraduate levels. The guide is also designed to be useful to museums and other public history institutions, government agencies, pre-collegiate schools, businesses, and community groups that want to identify potential academic partners in their geographical area. NCPH will continue to add listings as program directors supply their information.

Digital Public History Directory

The Digital Public History Directory compilation of resources is for students, professionals, and researchers of all levels to connect to digital projects that focus on the study or interpretation of historical subject matter. All resources are open access and searchable by a variety of filters, including time period, geographic region, subject matter, creator, and more. For those interested in creating digital projects, software, labor, and costs for each project are also included.

Listserv for Public History Program Educators

Send us an email if you would like to join a discussion listserv for public history educators. Please include your name, email address, and the name of your department and program. Here is a sample discussion thread (about internships) that shows the kind of question one might post as well as the generous, collegial responses of list members.

Resources for Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

The NCPH Board-led Sub-Committee on Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment has compiled a list of resources to help those who work in the field of public history. The document includes links to websites, articles, books, and more that aim to both support those who have experienced gender discrimination or sexual harassment and to guide organizations in developing their own policies and best practices related to these issues. This is a living document that will be periodically updated. If you have questions or suggestions on resources to be added please email us at .

Academic Program Reviewers

The individuals listed here are available to offer expert advice to university and college departments or programs in public history.

New Directions in Training

Click here for occasional articles written exclusively for the NCPH website to enable public history educators to share ideas and participate directly in shaping best practices.

In summer 2020 we convened the Teaching Public History Online Working Group. They have created and collected a number of resources for public history educators to use in the virtual classroom, from lesson plans to behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube. Visit their page to learn more!

Over on our “Other Programs” page we have a number of recordings from past programs that you may find of use as you plan your classes. As new programs occur that page will be updated.

Promotion and Tenure

NCPH provides a place for public history faculty to share resources, guidelines, and have discussions about promotion and tenure for public historians. To protect the conversations and the privacy of the individuals, the page is password protected. If you are a public history faculty, please contact us at [email protected] with your name and your school and we will send you the password.

You can find the password protected page here. 

“Tenure, Promotion, and the Publicly Engaged Academic Historian,”

This joint report offering best practices for evaluating public history scholarship in history departments, was adopted by the NCPH, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Historical Association in spring 2010. The report provides clear advice for college and university administrators, department chairs, and faculty. It begins with an overview of existing promotion and tenure standards, analyzes the growing interest of college and university administrators in community engagement, and suggests how public history work should be evaluated as scholarship, teaching, and service. The committee that conducted this study hopes it will have ramifications beyond academia, perhaps in organizations, such as federal or state agencies, where the work of public historians is evaluated in promotion decisions.  The report is here. A supporting white paper, also written by the committee, is available.

Other Online Resources for Public History Educators

A number of organizations devoted to history practice and education have gathered resources of use to public history educators. Here are some of the most useful materials available online: