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
- Commonwealth Museum, Massachusetts State Archives
- Facing History, Facing Ourselves
- Historic New England
- The History Project
- International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, RI
- John F. Kennedy Museum and Library
- Lynn Museum
- Maryland Historical Society
- Massachusetts Historical Commission
- Massachusetts Historical Society
- Mass. Memories Road Show
- Museum of African American History
- National Archives at Boston
- Nichols House Museum
- Olmsted Center for Landscape Studies
- Paul Revere House
- Pilgrim Memorial State Park
- Plimoth Plantation
- Shirley Eustis House
- Tsongas Industrial History Center
At Boston’s Nichols House Museum, Danielle Cournoyer’s internship offers her opportunities to participate in several areas of museum programming and operations. Cournoyer is creating and leading a guided tour of the house and planning a visitor orientation space.
At her internship with Historic New England, Judith Marshall conducted primary source research on the men who built the Rundlet-May House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1807 and created a proposal for a walking tour focused on Portsmouth’s craftsmen. The walking tour is designed to bring the Rundlet-May House into conversation with the more central parts of Portsmouth and to illuminate the craftsmen's lives in Portsmouth.
Rachael Guadagni was an intern at the Lynn Museum and Historical Society, where she learned fundamental collections management and preservation techniques. Gaudagni put her work describing and classifying artifacts and using the PastPerfect collections software to use by researching and creating a case exhibit using Lynn-manufactured shoes from the museum’s collection.
As an intern with the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Lauren Aubut Prescott conducted research, identified, and interpreted primary sources for a web-based exhibit on nineteenth-century women activists buried at Mount Auburn, including Julia Ward Howe, Harriet Jacobs, and Dorothea Dix.
Watch the students talk about their internships in the video below.