History at Work” Presentation Guidance and Sources

“History at Work” Presentation Guidance and Sources


The classroom is not the only place to learn history or to use the knowledge and skills you acquire in a history (or related) program. Often called “Public History,” people who work in this profession preserve and promote history to general audiences. Public History includes a number of diverse occupations in the field allowing people to work in many different settings to promote history. They will find work in museums, archives, historical societies, libraries, and multinational corporations across the state, country, and world.

Some Fields in Public History



Historic Sites and Parks

Historic Preservation

Some potential job titles for Public Historians include:

Museum Curator (Museum)

Exhibit Designer (Museum)

Archivist (Archives)

Conservators (Museums and Archives)

Museum Education Specialist (Museum)

Historic Preservationist (Historic Preservation)

Living History Actor (Museum and Historic Sites and Parks)

Park Ranger/Park Interpreter (Historic Sites and Parks)

Oral Historian (Museums and Archives)

Note: Information for some career paths will be easier to find than others. Part of this activity is to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your research skills.

Research Instructions:

For this assignment you will select a field in Public History and an occupation that aligns with that field, and provide a presentation on both. In your presentation, be sure to address these issues and questions:

First, explain what the term “Public History” means and how it differs from the “traditional” idea of teaching history in a classroom. What is the role of a public historian in the community and how do communities benefit from understanding their pasts? You can find a good deal of information on this topic on the National Council on Public History’s website, listed below).

Next, choose a Public History field to research (Museum, Archives, Historic Sites and Parks, Historic Preservation). Then, answer these questions:

What is the typical role of an organization in the field you chose? For instance, if you choose the “Museum” field, explain the functions of a museum?

The organizations in these fields generally have a responsibility to educate the public, and preserve important historical materials and items. Summarize how these groups perform those tasks. For instance, if you choose museums, explain what methods museums use to educate their audiences and preserve our past.

After summarizing your Public History field, select one of the typical occupations in that field and address the following issues and questions:

Explain what the people who work in your chosen occupation do; what are their duties/tasks within the organization?

What are the typical credentials/experiences/skills/knowledge needed to work in this field?

What are some of the issues/challenges that can arise in this type of occupation?

What sort of jobs are currently available within the occupation? What special skills/abilities not normally associated with a history class (or even college) do these jobs require?

Finally, search for a local, regional, or state Public History organization in your chosen field (Museum, archives, historic preservation firm, historical society, etc.). This can be an organization in or nearby our own community, or in another area of Georgia. You will need to conduct your own research to find an organization for this section of the presentation.

After locating an organization in your field, address the following issues and questions:

Summarize the organization; where are they located what do they do?

Note what sort of history they promote and preserve. Is it a broad history of the state or region, or a history of a specific place, person, or group?

What programs and activities do they provide to educate and preserve local history?

If the organization has a list of employees, note their job titles and duties (if listed)

PowerPoint Presentation Requirements:

Each section outlined above should be a distinct section of your PowerPoint presentation (each section may include more than two slides, as necessary).

Each section of your PowerPoint presentation should also include a recorded component that summarizes the materials in that section. You will record your presentation and include it in your PowerPoint file. Your recording should not simply read line for line from your PowerPoint, but rather should summarize what is listed in that section of the presentation. Your entire audio presentation (for the entire PowerPoint) should be no less than 2 minutes and no more than 5 minutes in length.

Since you will be using information from various sources to develop your PowerPoint, it is important that you cite your sources when necessary. Citations are generally needed when you quote directly from a source or use data or statistics from a source. Be sure that you follow MLA citation guidelines. Also, remember to include a “Works Cited” slide at the end of your presentation.

If you are unsure about using MLA style, this link should be helpful:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html (In-text MLA citation guide)

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/images/20190822MLAPoster.jpg (MLA Citation and Works Cited Overview Poster)

As this is a short presentation, be sure to limit the amount of direct quotes that you use. What is more important for this activity is to see how well you synthesize the various information available to present an overview of your chosen field. Be sure, too, that as you prepare your presentation that you are interpreting the sources and presenting the information in your own words and not simply re-writing what others have already written (or recorded, in the case of videos). Evidence of copying and pasting any source word for word without citing the source, or simply changing a few words in a sentence, could be considered plagiarism and result in a poor grade on this activity. If you have any questions about plagiarism, you can use this link or ask me:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/avoiding_plagiarism/plagiarism_faq.htmlAdditional Requirements:

The length and style of your presentation is entirely up to you. I would expect to see at least two slides for each of the sections in the requirements above.

You must incorporate at least one image in each section of the presentation. This image should relate to the information discussed on that slide.

You must include one multimedia component in your presentation (this can be video or audio, either embedded in the slide or linked to another site). The media should relate to the topic discussed on that specific slide.

Evaluation Criteria:

Student has fully addressed the requirements and questions posed in the Research Guidance.

Student has properly cited all information in their PowerPoint and included a Works Cited slide.

The information provided is accurate.

The information provided in the presentation reflects the student’s understanding of the material and displays no evidence of plagiarism.

The presentation is well designed and follows a logical structure based upon the Research Instruction requirements; There are no spelling/grammar issues in the presentation.

The student’s audio component of the presentation meets the minimum/maximum amount of time and summarizes each section of the presentation rather than simply re-reading the slide text.

The presentation contains the required number of images and media as noted in the “Additional Requirements” section of the guidance, and those materials compliment the presentation.

To assist you with this assignment, I have posted a variety of sources on our D2L site that should be useful to you as you develop your presentation on the pages that follow. However, you will also want to search on your own for sources to fully address the questions in your presentation.

Links to Potential Sources:

Understanding Public History:

The National Council on Public History


What is Public History 01: https://vimeo.com/114294944What is Public History 02: https://vimeo.com/115007260What is Public History 03: https://vimeo.com/106416059Public History Field Overviews:

“Museums do That?”

https://youtu.be/ZVflfF-Pb7I“Archives Change Lives”

https://www2.archivists.org/advocacy/archiveschangelivesNational Trust for Historic Preservation

https://youtu.be/0nQPHKf10PMPublic History Field Job Descriptions

Typical Jobs in Archives:

https://www.archives.gov/careers/jobs/positions.htmlTypical Jobs in Museums:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18GI22DlIvSdkLIZI05yWEOi4VZDYp1R1/view?usp=sharingA Guide to Becoming an Historic Preservation Professional:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lujTjCwNIQ9A9ypcHvjpSf8Kk-_TJuYN/view?usp=sharing“Day in the Life” of a Public Historian

Curators, Conservators, and Museum Workers

https://youtu.be/zLYjrT_jvY0Working in an Archives:

https://youtu.be/tg54sP3bXaIWorking in Historic Sites:

https://youtu.be/-RyErdlRze8Historic Preservationist Career:

https://youtu.be/yFgB6uxvh0Q(Museum Education Specialist Roles) Education in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame:

https://youtu.be/G7iZrmHfP8ULiving History Coordinator:

https://youtu.be/tOCOVuqJLoQFederal Job Statistics for Archivists, Curators, and Museum Workers:

Bureau of Labor Statistics Information on Historical Professions

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htmPublic History Job Sites:

National Council on Public History

https://ncph.org/jobs/Society of American Archivists

https://careers.archivists.org/jobsAmerican Alliance of Museums

https://aam-us-jobs.careerwebsite.com/jobseeker/search/results/ (Note that not all jobs listed on this site are for history-themed museums. Be sure to focus on historical organizations)

American Association for State and Local History

https://jobs.aaslh.org/jobseeker/search/results/Southeastern Museums Conference

https://www.semcdirect.net/listingPreservenet (Historic Preservation Jobs)


Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums

https://alhfam.org/jobs-full-timeSociety of Georgia Archivists

https://soga.wildapricot.org/resource/jobsGeorgia Association of Museums

http://gamg.org/museumjobs.htmlUSA Jobs

https://www.usajobs.gov/ (Using terms such as “museum,” “park ranger,” or “archives” will help narrow your search on this federal government job site)