Public History in Action
Public History students at Western do more than research the past; they also preserve and present it. Students created an online archive and exhibit which details the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the university and the Gunnison Valley. They worked with local museums, creating artifact inventories, museum guides, and displays, including one celebrating the anniversary of women’s suffrage in Colorado.
Professionals in the Field
Through the project, students had the opportunity to document the stories of historical buildings in the community for the Gunnison Country Historical Preservation Commission. They visited local and state museums and met with professionals in the fields of museum studies and curation from History Colorado, the Center for Colorado Women’s History, and the Museum of the Black American West, among others.
They also travel to National Parks to meet with park rangers to discuss interpretation and park management. Their coursework ranges from history, to geography and anthropology, to outdoor recreation and set design. Museum internships make up a critical component of their studies.
Creating a Strong Foundation
The Public History emphasis offers an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary degree that is a strong foundation for graduate studies in museum studies, archival and library studies, cultural resource management, as well as entry level careers in museums, the National Park Service, and other governmental agencies and non-traditional fields of education.
Learn more about Western’s Public History program.
Author Credit: Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D
Photo Credit: Heather Thiessen-Reily, Ph.D