November 2020

In line with our national organizations, the History Department at Carleton embraces multiple forms of scholarly activity in the field of history. We recognize that thoughtful public history can take many forms, including exhibitions, k-12 teaching materials, podcasts, and multimedia work, and can include community collaboration, in which case it is also known as “engaged history.” Like all worthwhile collaborative work, public history must be judged on its quality, not quantity. We enthusiastically endorse the American Historical Association’s definition of the scholarly standards of public history below:

“The scholarly work of public historians involves the advancement, integration, application, and transformation of knowledge. It differs from ‘traditional’ historical research not in method or in rigor but in the venues in which it is presented and in the collaborative nature of its creation. Public history scholarship, like all good historical scholarship, is peer reviewed, but that review includes a broader and more diverse group of peers, many from outside traditional academic departments, working in museums, historic sites, and other sites of mediation between scholars and the public.”