About Us

Public History at Virginia Tech

The Virginia Tech History Department launched the Public History Program in 2011. It has since become an integral feature of our graduate and undergraduate curricula.

We introduce students to the theories and methodologies appropriate to applied historical practice as well as digital forms of scholarship and presentation. Our instructors encourage students to work like professionals in a collaborative environment. Whether in the classroom or in the field, they learn to think like public historians. They acquire a deep understanding of and appreciation for traditional academic training and practical experience. They connect people with the past.

Our program welcomes the input of our current students, alumni, faculty, affiliated professionals, and community partners as we explore the newest developments in the public history field. We are excited by the growth of our program and in our students.

Learn today how you can get involved with the Virginia Tech Public History Program.

What is public history?

Public history is the study of and practice of historical knowledge produced for audiences outside of academia. Whether through  documentaries, archives, exhibits, websites, mobile apps, community history projects, or historic sites, public history captures the myriad ways in which history shapes popular memory and the public’s understanding of past and present.

To learn more about the field’s ethics, opportunities, professionals, and publications, see the National Council on Public History.

Members of the Digital History class of the spring of 2012 initially created this website.  The following students contributed: Anna Rose Fowler, Heather Lennon, Ryan Nolan, William Paxton, Alison Vick. Members of the Digital History class of spring 2014, Andrea Ledesma and Rosemary Zlokas, updated the site.