Hi all, a quick followup question that I think is necessary to lay the groundwork for class tonight. We setup a working definition for digital history, but what are your definitions for what constitutes public history? I think that Emma Wilmer, Emeritus editor of PHRC, is pretty much spot on when she wrote
“Public history is history, practically applied. It is based on the understanding that history is not taught solely in the classroom, but is learned in a variety of places, and in a variety of ways. Public historians disseminate historical information to a wide audience through institutions such as archives, historical houses or societies, museums, consulting firms, history libraries, and Web sites. They are providers of primary and secondary source materials, and they often present information to patrons so that the patrons can form their own ideas of history and historical events through exhibits and research. My particular experiences with public history are diverse, and they have helped inform my definition of public history. In providing historical information to visitors, public historians give these visitors a chance to form their own opinions and ideas about history and to create books, essays, dissertations, works of art, and other products that in turn shape other people’s ideas about history. Practical and entertaining, applications of history are what set public history apart from classroom history, and both have their place in the overall process of teaching history.”
Obviously, this is a broad definition that I am sure some of you all might have few quibbles with, so does anyone have any different working definitions?