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Public History | Fellowships

Public History Fellowship Opportunities

Every year the public history program offers five or six fellowships with local partnering organizations that are available to first and second year students. These fellowships are akin to other universities’ Teaching Assistant positions, however, they offer significant public history experience as students work directly with the partner institution. A fellow receives a stipend from the hosting institution, and in turn, American University College of Arts and Sciences offers matching tuition credits. Fellowship awards are based on merit, a competitive application, and an interview with the host or agency.

Institutions with Fellowship Opportunities

American University Archives
The fellow will assist with a variety of projects connected to the Peace Corps Community Archive (PCCA). The PCCA collects, exhibits, and provides education and public programs that document the experiences and impact of individuals who served in the Peace Corps of individuals and institutions in host countries. The PCCA was launched in 2013, so the student will get hands-on experience building a collection from scratch. The student will work on a variety of projects such as cataloging, maintaining and updating the PCCA blog, and developing an online exhibit.

History Associates, Inc.
Location: Rockville, MD
Type: Historical Research and Writing
History Associates, Inc. is a professional historical services firm providing customized historical, archival, and records management services to industry, professional associations, government, and non-profit organizations for over thirty years. The company currently works in the fields of archives and records management; collections management; historical research, writing, and editing; museum exhibits; interpretive planning; and educational programming. The fellow will be joining project teams working alongside its fulltime staff. Project assignments will change during the year depending on company need and student interest, but may cover the full range of services provided by the company. Potential projects might include: conducting in-depth archival research in manuscript collections; helping to process archival papers; cataloguing artifacts; conducting image research for museum exhibits, and drafting exhibit label text.

White House Historical Association
Location: Downtown D.C.
Type: Research and New Media Development
The fellow will produce a final tangible product that will enhance the mission and goals of the WHHA and the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History at Decatur House. The project could address topics such as the architectural development of the property, diplomatic history, and the social and political lives of the inhabitants of the White House. Additional duties will include assisting Team Digital in their daily functions such as contributing to the website, scanning, and maintaining the Facebook page. 


DC Preservation League
Location: Washington, DC
Type: Preservation Planning, Outreach, and Education
As Washington’s only city-wide non-profit organizations dedicated to historic preservation, the DC Preservation League (DCPL) has long enjoyed a dedicated and enthusiastic membership since its formation in 1971. Under the supervision of the Director of Events and Education and the Director of Preservation and Outreach, the AU Public History Fellow is responsible for a variety of tasks. These tasks may include creating PowerPoint presentations for historic preservation hearings, attending education events (may require weekends and evenings), scanning materials, identifying and labeling historic photographs and managing social media content. As an on-going project, individuals selected will have the opportunity to develop a web and mobile app for location-based content, such as landmarks throughout Washington, DC.