Welcome to Washington, DC! We like to say that our program and students benefit from involvement with a range of public history organizations, from the local to the national and beyond! Get to know these local organizations by following them on social media and attending their programming! Some of these sites and organizations also have great resources for local history projects including photos, oral histories, and massive archives specific to DC History.
DC Public Library
The DC Public Library has neighborhood branches across the District and often hosts public history events. You can sign up for a library card with your local address to check out materials or book study and meeting rooms. Additionally, they have year-round programming and workshops. (@dcpl)
Part of the DC Public Library, the Washingtoniana Collection is a rich archive, useful for any local history project. Search their collection online or schedule an appointment to see materials in person.
Historical Society of Washington
The Historical Society of Washington (HSW), housed in the old Carnegie Library houses the DC History Center, including local archives and exhibits. HSW also plans an exciting calendar of public events, including the DC History Conference, speakers, and more. (@DCHistory, @DCHistCon)
DC Preservation League
The DC Preservation League preserves, protects, and enhances the historic and built environment in Washington, DC. The Preservation League is an excellent local resource for research and learning about the city! Students and alum frequently work here. (@DCPresLeague)
HumanitiesDC conducts public programming around the humanities across the District, including providing grant opportunities, some of which are specifically for graduate students. They also host workshops on a variety of topics including oral history as well as planning additional programming. (@HumanitiesDC)
DC Oral History Collaborative
The DC Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) is a DC Government project run by DC Public Library, the Historical Society of Washington, and HumanitiesDC to support oral history projects in the District as well as access to existing collections. These resources are useful for local history projects and for potential projects of your own! (@DCoralhistories)
Anacostia Community Museum
The Anacostia Community Museum (ACM) is a Smithsonian Institute museum with a focus on history and issues local to the DC metro area. The museum features exhibits onsite and also has content online in digital exhibits and virtual archives. (@SmithsonianAC)
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is one of the world’s largest libraries with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its digital and physical collections. Researchers across the globe access it resources for their projects. It contains an unparalleled wealth of material for whatever your research needs might be. (@Librarycongress)
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
The National Archives and Records Administration contains all documents and materials related to the United States Federal Government’s course of business. Many students use records from NARA as primary sources for the Graduate Research Seminar papers and other projects. (@USNatArchives)
Smithsonian Institution Archives
The Smithsonian Institution Archives houses it many museums’ history and records. Its archivists create programming and activities for the public and respond to researchers’ requests. (@SmithsonianArch)
Joining a professional organization helps emerging professionals to expand their networks and develop their skills, interests, and goals. The organizations below are a great starting point for engaging with the broader field.
National Council on Public History
The National Council on Public History (NCPH) inspires public engagement with the past and serves the needs of practitioners in putting history to work in the world by building community among historians, expanding professional skills and tools, fostering critical reflection on historical practice, and publicly advocating for history and historians.” NCPH is a friendly community of practitioners and academics. Join NCPH at the student rate for access to programming and to keep up to date with public history news. (@NCPH)
American Association for State and Local History
The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is a professional organization for those interested specifically in local history sites. AASLH is particularly good at providing resources for small sites, and their programming is more oriented at practitioners. Join AASLH at a student rate to gain access to their resources and programming. (@AASLH)
Oral History Association
The Oral History Association (OHA) is the principal membership organization for people committed to the value of oral history. Members come from across fields, but are represented among public historians. Join the organization at a discounted student rate and look into their regional conferences, including for this region, Oral History for the Mid Atlantic Region (OHMAR). (@OHAnetwork)
Society for Historians in the Federal Government
The Society for Historians in the Federal Government (SHFG) addresses issues and concerns common across those who work in the federal history community. They are based in the Washington area and also hold regular social events for members and interested parties. (@SHFGHistorians)
While the Washington, DC, area has an enormous amount of job and internship opportunities, current and incoming public history students might consider seeking employment at AU.
AU's Human Resources department has created a Student Jobs Portal.
The History Department's Careers in History page offers a number of useful links to other, long-term job opportunities.
The public history program's own Facebook page serves as a community forum where students, alumni, and faculty can post and share new job and internship opportunities.
Other resources that you should consult include:
The American Historical Association: Careers in Public History
The National Council on Public History: Recent Job Postings
American Alliance of Museums: Careers and JOBHQ
LOT49 DH Jobs: Guide to Finding Digital History Jobs