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Public History | Partners

Visiting the slave burial site at George Washington's Mount Vernon, students discussed ways to approach and present difficult and complicated history to visitors.

Every spring, public history students in the public history practicum (HIST-730) engage in hands-on learning through projects with various external partners. For students, these projects provide an arena for authentic learning, a chance to build resumes, and an opportunity to work closely with a professional mentor. For our partners, the projects provide valuable, professional assistance in developing their interpretive programming and exhibits. Projects require students to work in small teams of two or three people and spend about 100 to 150 hours apiece researching and developing the final product. Through the process of creating these projects, students learn best practices in interpretive planning, visitor evaluation, writing for public audiences, and working with new media. Students are required to build digital portfolios and present their work to a gathering of partners and faculty at the end of the semester.

Our current partners:

National Museum of American History
Worked on a number of components for the upcoming permanent exhibition American Enterprise.
Developed a walking tour of Washington, DC, on inventions dealing with sound.

Smithsonian Gardens
Developed online lesson plans as resources for teachers connecting history to plants in the collection.

Tudor Place
Researched and developed a furnishing plan for a future radio room in the house.

Previous partners include:

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, National Park Service
Researched and designed wayside signs for Arlington Cemetery.
Researched and developed interpretive plan for slave quarters.

All Souls Church, Unitarian
Researched and created Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plan.

American Red Cross
Researched and developed docent guide, donor tour, and walking tour/podcast of main building.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park
Researched and selected new material for the self-guided interpretive resources.

Heurich Mansion
Researched and wrote Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plan

Lemelson Center for the History of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History
Researched and scripted two theater monologues highlighting the lives of women inventors.

National Law Enforcement Museum
Surveyed collection.

President Lincoln's Cottage, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Developed podcast tour and blog.

Prince William Forest Park, National Park Service
Researched and wrote Teaching with Historic Places Lesson Plan.