Public Historians work in a range of positions within and outside the heritage sector. Public historians can be found in museums, archives, libraries, academic institutions, corporations, not-for-profits, the film industry, research firms, and other organizations.
In the United States the National Council on Public History is an active professional organization that represents, offers services to, and connects public historians. Currently, Canada has no similar active national organization. There is a public history working group under the Canadian Historical Association, but many public historians outside of academia are not involved with this group.
Currently, the institution I work at is a member of:
- Canadian Museums Association
- The Ontario Museums Association
- Association of Canadian Archivists
- Archives Association of Ontario
- Society of American Archivists
- Ontario Historical Society
- Midwest Archives Conference
Each group has a very specific focus and offers a variety of professional development tools, connections, and resources based on its focus. A Public Historian working in an archive may find the occasional article in Archivaria or The American Archivist which approaches archival principal from a public history view point, but that’s probably all the PH content one will get.
I’ve taken to reading The Public Historian and Public History News to get my Public History fix – but since both are American based publications I’m often level longing for Canadian content. ActiveHistory.ca content helps fill in some of the void in Canadian Public History. But I’d love to hear any suggestions on where else to turn for new Canadian Public History reading and collaboration.