The Skills of a Historian Applied to a Career in Public History and Heritage Conservation

Monday, January 5, 2015: 8:50 AM
Sutton North (New York Hilton)
Anthea Hartig, California Historical Society
The success of historical societies and historic preservation organizations throughout the nation rely on the strong presence of a historian at the helm. Stories of place, memory, and meaning must be deeply rooted in good historical methodology and research. To be a trusted institution in a community that reflects diverse histories and significance, the staff and especially the director must have a strong grasp on the skills to both recognize and create good history and make that history accessible and resonate with public audiences. Historic preservation efforts and arguments must be based on good scholarship and also be relevant to contemporary communities. Local, statewide, and national history related non-profit foundations as well as state archaeological and historical agencies rely on the expertise of architectural, social, and cultural historians. With strong leadership skills and academic credentials there is demand for historians in a diverse array of preservation and cultural resource management to fill management positions.