Community partnerships form the core of the public history curriculum, and all students have opportunities to apply their scholarly training to public-facing work through our internship program. As supervised experiences in public history organizations and other cultural institutions, internships introduce students to the demands of professional workplaces and provide the opportunity to develop valuable skills and knowledge. All M.A. students in history and those pursuing the graduate certificate in public history are required to do one internship and take the corresponding Public History Practicum course, HIST 608. MA students who select Public History as their major field must do a second internship and enroll in HIST 618.
Recent internship placements have included the Filson Historical Society, the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections, the Frazier Museum, the Belle of Louisville, the Portland Museum, and Historic Locust Grove, among other venues.
William Cummings working at his internship with Archives and Special Collections at the University of Louisville, processing manuscript collections and digitization projects.
All internships must be approved by the internship coordinator in the Department of History. The following requirements must also be met.
Students are expected to work for a total of 150 hours. Students can fulfill this requirement in a shorter or longer period of time, proat the host institution is willing to accommodate a different schedule. Students often work intensively during the summer months to fulfill the requirement, for example.
Students must do a substantive project as part of the internship. While routine tasks are to be expected, students should be given the opportunity to use and develop their skills and knowledge, show creativity, and learn through active involvement in institutional programs. Ideally, the project should produce a tangible product that students will be able to show prospective employers. Examples include:
- a historical exhibit (traditional or online)
- an oral history collection
- an interpretive program or tour
- interpretive plans
- specialized research on a particular topic or topics
- finding aids for archival collections
- local landmark designation reports
- National Register of Historic Places nominations
- grant proposals
- conditions assessments for historic buildings and sites
- digitization projects
- lesson plans for elementary and secondary classes
Dr. Terri Keeley coordinates all department internships. Students should make an appointment with her before starting an internship to discuss expectations and requirements.
Information for Host Institutions
We aim to limit the obligations of institutions and organizations that host interns as much as possible. Our basic requirements are as follows:
Someone on staff must serve as the designated contact for the internship. This person will communicate with the Department of History as needed.
Interns must be given opportunities to apply their skills and abilities to a project requiring creativity, initiative, and decision-making typical of professional employment. This especially pertains to the “substantive project” discussed above. While work of this kind need not constitute the focus of the internship, it should form a significant part.
Upon completion of the internship, the supervisor will write a written evaluation of the student’s performance. This evaluation should be a fair and honest critique that acknowledges strengths as well as weaknesses. Students are graded on their performance as interns, and the supervisor’s evaluation receives significant weight in determining the final grade. It may also be referenced in future letters of recommendation written by the internship coordinator.
At present, about 70 percent of our interns receive some sort of financial compensation. Host institutions usually pay $12-15/hr. Some pay students a bi-weekly or monthly stipend instead of hourly wages. Since students receive academic credit for internships, some do unpaid internships. Pay is not required of institutions and organizations that host interns. For obvious reasons, however, students tend to prefer paid over unpaid internships. Since it is rare for students to be fully supported by university or external funding during their graduate studies, even modest compensation can make a big difference.
- Elijah Humble: Portland Museum
- Barry Johnson, Belle of Louisville
- Wesley Miller: University of Louisville, Rare Books and Special Collections
- Jacob Wolfe: Locust Grove
- Yomi Ejikunle: University of Louisville, Rare Books and Special Collections
- Joshua Keown: Education and Interpretations internship at Locust Grove
- Zachary Keown: Digital Collections internship at the Filson Historical Society
- Hayley Salo: Filson Historical Society, Baer Fabrics Collection
- Stanley Wagner: Saint Meinrad Archabbey Archives
- Flora Schildnecht: Oral History Center, University of Louisville Archives
- Rebecca Wishnevski: Kentucky Shakespeare Company Oral History Project
- Kevin Bradley: Frazier History Museum Department of Education
- Chad White: Kentucky Historical Society, Civil War's Governor's of Kentucky Project
- Jack Hardy: Kentucky Historical Society, Civil War's Governor's of Kentucky Project
- Olivia Beutel: Oral History Center, University of Louisville Archives
- Troy Buss: Oral History Center, University of Louisville Archives
- Nicole Clay: Frazier History Museum Department of Education
- Caroline Dew: Farmington Historical Plantation
- Chelsea Giovacchino: Filson Historical Society
- Jordan Klinger: Arizona State University's Journal of a Plague Year Project
- Abigail Posey: Library Company of Philadelphia
- Emily Tingle: Oral History Center, University of Louisville Archives
- Rebecca Wishnevski: Kentucky Shakespeare Company Oral History Project
- Olivia Raymond: Portland Museum, Filson Historical Society
- Mason Strange: Cave Hill Cemetery
- Samuel Dunn, Frazier History Museum
- Elizabeth Standridge, Filson Historical Society
- Rachel Lachut, Frazier History Museum
- Hailey Bangers, Frazier History Museum
- Alexis Doerr, Filson Historical Society
- Matthew Mooser, Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society
- Michael Reikes, General George S Patton Museum of Leadership
- Eric Shoemaker- Frazier History Museum
- Sarah McCoy: Frazier Historical Museum
- Emma Bryan: Kentucky Oral History Commission
- Jessica Riley, National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Olivia Raymond, Frazier History Museum
- Greyson Neff, Locust Grove
- Sarah McCoy, Locust Grove
- Ash Bruenecker, Collections Project- Louisville Metro Government
- Treva Hodges: Filson Historical Society
- Mary K. Marlatt, Kornhauser Library Archives
- Edward Wilson: Owensboro Museum of Science and History
- Hannah O’Daniel, University of Louisville Archives, Filson Historical Society
- Joanna Federico, Speed Art Museum
- Hailey Brangers, Frazier History Museum
- Joanna Federico, Frazier History Museum
- Morgan Lockard, Liberty Hall Historic Site
- Ellen Rich, Locust Grove
- Hannah O’Daniel, Kentucky Historical Society
- Carol Bolton, Frazier History Museum
- Hannah O’Daniel, Sisters of Loretto Archives
- Jacob Burress, University of Louisville Archives