The History Department’s graduate Introduction to Public History course introduces students to the diverse fields comprising “public history.” Students learn both theory and practice by reading relevant materials, speaking with professionals in the field, and generating public history projects.
Tapping into a rich community resource, nine IUP graduate students visited the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh to learn from museum experts. The experience proved invaluable, as the curators and exhibition designers and coordinators provided a guided tour of two exhibitions, discussing a range of issues.
Students learned not only about curatorial decisions, but also about negotiations between curators and exhibition designers as both strive to maximize public access while still protecting precious artifacts and presenting an engaging and coherent narrative.
Students left the museum with a deeper understanding of both the opportunities and challenges of public history, and saw how theoretical issues discussed in the literature play out in real life.
Department of History