All public history students must complete an internship (HIST 698) by participating in a substantive project at a local community organization, museum, or public institution. Students must fulfill at least 120 hours of work in order to gain full credit.
The public history internship coordinator works with students in order to create the internship, in consultation with the student and potential partners/sponsors, taking into consideration both the needs of the institution and the professional goals and interests of the student. All internship projects will receive a title in order to clarify the substantive requirements of the internship. All students will sign an agreement with the public history faculty and sponsoring institution outlining the requirements of the internship, including a termination clause to articulate the circumstances by which a project should be terminated. The final grade for HIST 698 will be determined by the successful completion of all requirements of the course, including the internship coordinator’s assessment of the quality of the completed work; a blog posting; the intern’s final report; and assessments of the student’s performance and accomplishments by the internship site supervisor. The final grade is awarded by the internship coordinator.
The public history internship coordinator will conduct a mid-semester site visit and meet with both the student and the supervisor. The site supervisor will also complete two evaluations of the intern: one at the midpoint and the other at the end of the internship. These evaluations will be used in evaluating the student’s work and assigning a final grade.
In addition, to receive a grade for HIST 698, students must
- satisfactorily complete the assigned internship project as outlined in the internship agreement
- post a blog entry about their project experiences, progress, or methodologies, including an appropriate image
- produce a final report at the conclusion of the internship
- submit to the internship coordinator all materials created over the course of the internship.
The student’s final internship report must include the following:
- A discussion of the internship experience in the context of relevant literature on public history theory and practice.
- Project methodology and how such methods reflected the organization’s goals and mission, as well as how they related to similar projects at this and other organizations.
- Project outcomes and challenges: What was successful and what was unsuccessful, and why? What did you gain from the experience? Look back to your original objectives and reflect on how you addressed or developed these during your internship. Where did you make gains and where did you not? What worked and what didn’t work? What training or skills that you did not have would have helped? How did this experience contribute to your overall professional and scholarly endeavors in public history? Consider the value of the experience, the process, and working a a professional.
For additional resources for History MA graduate students, as well as postings about internships, job openings, and public events, go here.
- Boston National Historical Park
- The Boston Museum Project
- Buttonwoods Museum (Haverhill, MA)
- Cambridge Historical Society
- Commonwealth Museum, Massachusetts State Archives
- Facing History and Ourselves
- Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Historic New England
- International Tennis Hall of Fame (Newport, RI)
- John F. Kennedy Museum and Library
- Kalaupapa National Historical Park (Molokai, HI)
- Lynn Museum (Lynn, MA)
- Maryland Historical Society
- Massachusetts Historical Commission
- Massachusetts Historical Society
- Mass. Memories Road Show
- Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge
- Museum of African American History, Boston
- National Archives at Boston
- Nantucket Historical Association
- Nichols House Museum, Boston
- Old Colony Historical Society/History Museum (Taunton, MA)
- Olmsted Center for Landscape Studies
- Paul Revere House
- Pilgrim Memorial State Park
- Plimoth Plantation
- Shirley Eustis House
- The History Project, Boston
- Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery (Watertown, MA)
- Tsongas Industrial History Center (Lowell, MA)
Taylor Finch is learning to design community-engaged public programs as an intern with Cambridge Historical Society. Supported by experienced staff and in collaboration with a range of community partners, Taylor is designing and planning two public programs for the Society’s 2018 theme, “Where is Cambridge from?”
As an intern at Facing History and Ourselves, Katie Burke is creating a resource that will help Facing History connect their curriculum resources with the needs of history educators teaching in the Facing History’s seven states.
Cheyenne Dunham’s internship at the Nantucket Historical Association gave her experience researching a historic property collection to create a reference catalogue for visitors and site interpreters—the Greater Light Collection Reference Guide.
Moriah Illsley came to her internship at the Old Colony History Museum in Taunton with experience in delivering interpretive programs for public audiences at Lowell National Historical Park. At Old Colony, Moriah had the opportunity to create, from scratch, a field trip program for third grade students -- "Let’s Map!: Taunton”--based on the museum’s collections and responses to the state curriculum standards.
At the Haverhill Historical Society’s Buttonwoods Museum, Rachel Sherman learned the basics of collections management while helping the museum catalog their significant textile collection.
Watch the students talk about their internships in the video below.