Physical Publications

The Public Historian (TPH) and Public History News (PHN) are mailed quarterly to our members. Back issues of TPH are also available primarily to members, although issues or articles may be purchased by non-members, and all back issues of PHN are available to non-members (see link below). The Public History Navigator is available in both hardcopy and digitally.


Published for the National Council on Public History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, TPH is the voice of the public history profession. The Public Historian provides the results of research and case studies, and addresses the broad substantive and theoretical issues in the field.




Public History News is the quarterly newsletter for members of the NCPH. It offers updates on NCPH activities, news on developments in the field, and timely information on upcoming conferences, fellowships, meetings, and position vacancies. (A complete set of all the back issues is online.)



Navigator Cover

A “consumer’s guide to public history programs” designed to help history undergraduates prepare for, select, and succeed in a graduate public history program. The Navigator also includes links to other online resources that will help undergrads navigate the waters of grad school.


Living Publications

The following publications are only available online at the links provided. They include entries written by NCPH members and non-members alike on a variety of topics and are frequently updated.

NCPH’s public history blog. The blog was created in March 2012 to create an online space where people from a variety of areas of the public history field could share ideas and news, and to create a bridge to future digital and other publication efforts. Like the field itself, the blog is designed to blend scholarly, professional, and civic discourse arising from the practice of presenting history in public.

THE inclusive historian’s handbook

A partnership with the American Association for State and Local History, The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook is a co-sponsored digital resource designed to center inclusivity, diversity, equity, and public service in public history work. The Handbook is a living digital project comprised of entries examining all facets of public history work in the lens of these core values. The project launched in August 2019 with twenty entries, including “Accessibility,” “Civic Engagement,” “Food History,” “Plantations,” “Sexuality,” and more. Entries will continue to be added through 2019 and 2020 for a final first edition of one hundred entries.

Digital Public History Directory

This 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.


These publications are joint reports from organizations across the field.

Report on Data Analysis of the Survey on Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Public History Field

In September of 2020, NCPH and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) launched a year-long survey about sexual harassment and gender discrimination in public history organizations. The survey and report are the culmination of an effort begun by members of NCPH’s board-led Subcommittee on Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (GDSH). NCPH and AASLH contracted with Oberg Research to create a report to the public history field analyzing the survey data to understand how gender discrimination and sexual harassment take place; who is most vulnerable, and where they are most vulnerable; and what current workplace and professional association policies and best practices can do to create safer, more equitable and inclusive work environments. You can read the report here. Staff from NCPH, AASLH, and Oberg Research also hosted a webinar to discuss the report on April 19, 2022 which you can view on YouTube.


In 2016-17, the Joint Task Force on Public History Education and Employment surveyed alumni of MA programs in public history and closely related fields to obtain information about career trajectories and employment experiences. The survey obtained 1,488 responses. “Career Paths in Public History,” a report prepared by the Joint Task Force, summarizes the major findings of the survey. The survey data shows that most graduates of public history programs find employment in the field within a year of graduating; the majority of public historians remain in the field over time; and public historians report relatively high levels of job satisfaction. Comments submitted by respondents, however, express significant concerns about the conditions of public history employment, competition for jobs, and the future of the field. The report is here. Three appendixes present the survey questions, the survey data, and comments submitted by respondents.


Based on a survey of 401 public history employers, this report surveys trends in public history employment since the 2008 recession. It was compiled by the Joint Task Force on Public History Education and Employment of the American Association for State and Local History, the American Historical Association, the National Council on Public History, and the Organization of American Historians. It identifies skills and knowledge employers consider valuable for entry-level professional positions, what employers look for when hiring for mid-career and senior positions, and skills and expertise that employers see as increasingly important. The report also considers broad trends affecting historical organizations and institutions and recommends steps for public history programs to take to prepare students for post-graduate opportunities and long-term career growth. Finally, the report recommends greater advocacy on the part of national, state, and local historical organizations to combat anti-intellectualism and increase appreciation for historical scholarship and history education. The report is here. A supporting document compiling all of the survey comments is also available here.


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. The report is here. A supporting white paper, also written by the committee, is available.


A must read for any student interested in working as a historian. Sponsored by the American Historical Association and NCPH and authored by faculty and students in the Public History Program at the University of South Carolina, the 2002 edition discusses numerous career possibilities. It includes interviews with prominent historians, ranging from those in academic and publishing areas, to public and consulting.

The Public Historian E-Pubs

The following publications were written as special issues in collaboration with The Public Historian.

Perspectives on the National Council on Public History on its 40th Anniversary

On the cusp of NCPH’s 40-year anniversary as an organization in 2020, our 40th Anniversary Ad-Hoc Committee began planning an e-publication to reflect on NCPH’s first forty years and where we’re headed in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed work on the publication, but we’re excited to share it with you now. In this substantial e-publication, you’ll find ten individual essays exploring the ongoing work of the organization, key moments of change and reflection, and challenges for us to think about as we enter our next forty years. 

This is a color screenshot of the cover of our LGBTQ Public History Reports from the Field ePublication. In includes a color photograph of two people standing in a gallery looking at colorful posters in memory of the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

LGBTQ Public History: Reports from the Field, Nicole Belolan, ed., with Sarah Case (National Council on Public History, October 2019)


This is a digital publication about the intersection of LGBTQ history and public history that complements the May 2019. LGBTQ-themed issue of The Public Historian, edited by Melinda Marie Jetté. The digital publication features reports from the field. You can read this publication in full as a pdf here.




Slave Cabin at Greefield Plantation, Botetourt County, VA. Courtesy of Joseph McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project.PRESERVING PLACES: REFLECTIONS ON THE NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT AT FIFTY FROM THE PUBLIC HISTORIAN (PDF)

A digital publication of History@Work and The Public Historian in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, October 2016. A compilation of blog posts reflecting on essays published in The Public Historian and some new essays reflecting on the future of the National Historic Preservation Act. This e-book is available as a PDF, and also as an EPUB: preservingplaces


PHCC-2014-cover imageA special publication of the Public History Commons as part of “The State of the Field: Public History and Environmental Sustainability.” A collaborative project of the National Council on Public History and The Public Historian, March 2014.


Celebrating 40 Years of The Public Historian

Forty years ago, G. Wesley Johnson, a historian of colonial West Africa, penned the first of what would become scores of Editor’s Corners (at the time, “Editor’s Prefaces”) to launch the first issue of The Public Historian. As NCPH celebrates the journal’s 40th anniversary in 2018, TPH publisher University of California Press marks its 125th anniversary, and the two are offering free digital access to twenty-four of the most significant, enduring, and widely read essays  published since 1978, ranging from that seminal year to 2017. Thank you for supporting The Public Historian and the National Council on Public History. This virtual issue is temporarily unavailable.

Monuments, Memory, Politics, and Our Publics

This special virtual issue features a dozen essays from the journal’s backlist that illustrate the evolving historiography on the issue of monuments, memory, history, and heritage and broaden the discussion beyond the focus of the Civil War, Redemption, and resistance to the expansion of civil rights during the 1960s and 1970s.  We thank our publisher, the University of California Press, for bringing this special issue to “print.” This virtual issue is temporarily unavailable.