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The Public Historian, a quarterly journal sponsored by the National Council on Public History and the University of California, Santa Barbara, with the support of Rutgers University, Camden, and published by the University of California Press. It is the flagship journal in the field of public history. It emphasizes original research, fresh conceptualizations, and new viewpoints. The journal's contents reflect the considerable diversity of approaches to the definition and practice of public history.

The Public Historian provides practicing professionals and others the opportunity to report the results of research and case studies and to address the broad substantive and theoretical issues inherent in the practice of public history. The journal aims to provide a comprehensive look at the field, publishing articles relating to:

·      Exhibition, Interpretation, and Public Engagement

·      Public Memory Studies

·      Public History Education

·      Museum and Historic Site Administration

·      Cultural Resources Management

·      Institutional History and Archives

·      Litigation Support and Expert Witnessing

·      Federal, State, and Local History

·      Oral History

·      Historical Editing, Publishing, and Media

·      Archival, Manuscript, and Records Management Preservation

·      Contracting and Consulting

·      History and Civic Engagement

·      History’s Publics/Audience Studies

·      Public Policy Planning and Analysis

·      Philanthropy and Sponsorship

The Public Historian publishes a variety of article types: research articles, essays, and reports from the field. Research articles deal with specific, often comparatively framed, public historical issues. They are based on documentary or oral historical research; in some cases, however, findings from interviews, surveys, or participant observation may supplement historical source materials. These articles should be around thirty pages. Essays are reflective commentaries on topics of interest to public historians. Their length varies, but they are usually about twenty-five pages. Reports from the field are intended to convey the real-world work of public historians by highlighting specific projects or activities in which the author is directly involved; these articles may describe new or ongoing projects, introduce or assess new methodologies, or bring in-the-field dilemmas (methodological, ethical, and historical) into print. Reports from the field should be fifteen-to-twenty pages.

In its review section, The Public Historian assesses current publications by and of interest to public historians, including government publications, cultural resources management reports, and corporate histories, as well as selected scholarly press publications. The journal also reviews films and videos, digital and electronic media productions, exhibits, and performances. We do not accept unsolicited reviews but we do welcome suggestions for material to review. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, please visit our Reviewer page.

The editors welcome the submission of manuscripts by all those interested in the theory, teaching, and practice of public history, both in the United States and abroad. We are looking for manuscripts that make a significant contribution to the definition, understanding, and/or professional and intellectual progress of the field of public history. We conceive of the term public history broadly, as involving historical research, analysis, and presentation, with some degree of explicit application to the needs of contemporary life.

In addition, we are currently soliciting journal article manuscripts, particularly in the form of reports from the field, about commemoration, broadly defined, on a rolling basis. Please see our longer call here for both The Public Historian and History@Work. Direct all pre-submission queries to Nicole Belolan Co-Editor of The Public Historian and Digital Media Editor for NCPH, Manuscript submissions should follow standard practice for The Public Historian outlined here.

Research articles, essays, and reports from the field are subject to anonymous peer review and revisions will be suggested, if necessary, before the editors will accept an article for publication.

In general, only manuscripts not previously published will be accepted. Manuscripts currently under review for another publication will not be considered. Authors must agree not to publish elsewhere, without explicit written consent, an article accepted for publication in The Public Historian.

The Public Historian encourages letters to the editor that expand the discussion of topics covered in the journal. If a letter specifically concerns an article or review published in TPH, the author or reviewer will be invited to respond. Letters responding to reviews may not exceed 250 words; letters responding to articles may not exceed 750 words.

The editors reserve the right to refuse to publish any letter whose tone or content are inconsistent with the conventional standards of scholarly discourse expected in a historical journal.

Please note that all authors whose papers are accepted for publication are required to sign an Author Agreement.

Please submit manuscripts and letters to the editors by email to the managing editor at the address below.

See guidelines here.



Sarah Case, Editor

Nicole Belolan, Co-editor (MARCH, Rutgers-Camden)

David Vail, Book Review Editor (University of Nebraska at Kearney)

Teresa Barnett, Exhibit and Media Editor (UCLA)

CONTACT: Sarah Case, Editor
Department of History
University of California
Santa Barbara, California 93106


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