Public History

What is it?

 Female student stands next to a black tri-fold display board with drawings of the evolution of marching band uniforms.

History major Isabelle Reynolds (’20) showcases an exhibit about the history of UC’s marching band uniforms.

Public History is an exciting field which focuses on making history significant and applicable in the public sphere. Public historians may become archeologists, archivists, curators, digital historians, government historians, historic preservationists, museum professionals, and much more. Public historians also apply multiple methods within the historical discipline utilizing many different forms of technology and other resources. Fundamentally, public history is hands-on history and scholars in this field go on to work in academia settings and well-known institutions.


Internships provide students with hands-on history experience. They work with public history organizations across a variety of fields, including archives, cemeteries, historic preservation societies, museums, and national or state parks. Student interns gain valuable professional work experience and skills. Build your resume while having fun with history.

Complete 150 (undergrad) / 200 (grad) hours of work. Under the direction of your internship site supervisor, you will invest the required number of hours toward the completion of your project. Students must track their hours and submit a log of time worked to the Director of Public History every week. All hours must be completed to pass the course.

Latest Internship Ads: Summer 2022

American Association for State and Local History
Remote/Nashville, TN
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is now accepting applications for their 2022 Summer Professional Development Intern. The Professional Development team coordinates AASLH’s webinars, online courses, workshops, the History Leadership Institute (HLI), and the Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (STEPS). The selected intern will work closely with the Professional Development Manager focusing on STEPS. Some of the projects include researching and compiling resources for STEPS participants, identifying potential new STEPS networks/audiences, and assisting with virtual STEPS groups. Interns will have the opportunity to increase their public history professional network and improve their research and communication skills. Deadline to apply is March 15. This paid and remote internship is set to begin early June 2022. The internship is part-time (up to 20hrs per week) and paid at $15/hour. View the full ad here.
Positions available: 1
Paid: Yes 

Brewing Heritage Trail 
Cincinnati, OH 
The Brewing Heritage Trail is looking for students who are interested in helping to develop some hands on program elements to incorporate into our Brewing Heritage Trail Application. There is an opportunity for some hands-on research as well in local brewing history. This is an unpaid internship, but we are very interested in making sure that students get the experience they are looking for, in order to better assist them in the future. We are flexible on scheduling and some of the necessary activities can be conducted remotely. For more on our organization, visit the Brewing Heritage Trail website.
Positions available: 2
Paid: No

Cincinnati Print & Type Museum
Cincinnati, OH
Our goal with any internship is to equip you with the experience and tools that you will need to succeed in your career. Our past interns have completed individual projects, such as conducting research on the history of printing in Cincinnati and cataloging our library collection. They have also assisted with the acquisition and processing of new donations, and creating new displays within the museum. While there are specific projects that we would like to see accomplished, the priority is working with our interns to design a program that fits their individual needs.
Positions available: 1
Paid: No

Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati, OH
From Summer Camps to Curators to Public Safety, jobs and Internships are available. Thanks to a generous grant, many of the internships are paid! There are three internships currently available for Animal Resources, Summer Museum Camps, and Youth Programs. Details on the CMC job board.
Positions available: Multiple
Paid: Yes

Greater Milford Area Historcal Society
Milford, OH
This part time internship is based out of the Promont Historic House and Museum. The internship role involves assisting the Executive Director with running the small house museum and historical society in the following ways:

  • Conduct research to answer questions from the public or internal customers (board, members) using Past Perfect software and other external sources
  • Be trained on the history of the home and serve as a docent for tours
  • Peruse internal library of books and photos for the creation of interesting social media posts
  • Assist with fundraising events (historical home tour, ice cream social, community showcase meetings, Art Affaire, music performances, other ideas)
  • Assist with the writing of the quarterly GMAHS newsletter
  • Work with curation/ exhibit committee on new displays, events
  • Come up with new ideas for exhibits and fundraising

Other duties as they arise.
Positions available: 1
Paid: No

Greene County Records Center & Archives
Xenia, OH
This is a great opportunity for students who want to become archivists. The Greene County Records Center & Archives is currently seeking interns to assist with projects to facilitate the implementation of two new systems, ArchivesSpace and Preservica. ArchivesSpace is an open source information management system specifically designed for archives. Preservica is an active digital preservation system that provides preservation and access to long-term digital information and records. By implementing these systems, we are working to increase access to our public records.
Interns will:

  • Gain familiarity with various metadata schemas, including Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)
  • Become familiar with Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model standard
  • Opportunity to utilize two archival tools for data management and preservation
  • Opportunity to work with diverse set of materials, including local government records

Please email for the full job ad.
Positions available: Multiple
Paid: No

Henry Ford Museum
Dearborn, MI
The Henry Ford Museum has three internships available for graduate students only. The Simmons Graduate Internship Program is currently seeking three interns for a Rare Book Survey, the Roadside Collections Processing Project, and Science Based Collections Development Plans for the Agricultural and Environmental Collections. The deadlines for these applications are March 4th. See their internship page for more information.
Positions available: 1
Paid: No 

 Do you have an internship you’d like to advertise to our students? Please fill out a brief job description in our Internship Portal


Headshot of Rebecca Wingo

Rebecca Wingo

Director of Public History

McMicken Hall


We offer a variety of courses that both introduce students to the field of public history and allow them to specialize. Keep your eyes out for the following courses:

· HIST 2064: Museums, Documentaries, and Battlefields: How the Public Learns About History

· HIST 2063: Pop Culture and Public History

· HIST 2098: Special Topics in Public History

· HIST 3046: Museums and Collecting

· HIST 3158: Special Topics in Digital History

· HIST 3160: History Internship

· HIST 5110: Public History Practicum

There are 3 main course requirements for the MA in Public History:

· HIST 7064: Introduction to Public History

· HIST 6010: Public History Practicum

· HIST 7066: Internship (200 hrs)

You may also get a PhD Concentration in Public History. In addition to the standard PhD requirements, the public history courses remain the same. Please visit the graduate program page for more info

The Public History Working Group (PHWG) is a group of current graduate students who work with Dr. Rebecca Wingo to advance a mutually agreed upon methodological inquiry. PHWG members are currently mapping and telling the history of the historic urban staircases in Cincinnati’s downtown.

Members include: Aidan Shackleford (co-director), Alysha Federkeil (co-director), Grant Gilmore, Alayna Gould, Amanda Lehew, Shawn Liming, Paulo Masello, Kevin McPartland, and Jack Raslich. Advanced undergrads are welcome.