Public History

School of Humanities

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Department of History

(440) 826-2076


If your dream job involves designing museum exhibits, discovering untold stories in archives, or presenting history to public audiences, public history is the major for you. Public history is one of the newest and fastest growing areas of employment for students of history. It spans public presentation and engagement, as well as government and corporate consultant work.

Public history majors work with our archivist in the university archives starting their very first semester and will meet and network with history professionals. All public history majors complete internships at museums or archives and leave the program with practical experience in the field.

Coursework includes working with practitioners to learn historical analysis, digital technology, research, exhibit design, historical presentation and archive management.

In the classroom and in the field, you'll learn from BW's knowledgeable faculty and impressive career professionals. Following National Council on Public History guidelines, the major combines coursework in History with internship and practical skills—archival research, information management, writing, web design and digital media, oral history and more.

It is intensively experiential. Much of the coursework takes place in archives and local museums. Starting your first semester, you'll work in BW's University archives and be mentored by a professional archivist.

A capstone internship offers you the opportunity to apply your skills and insights in a professional setting.

What is Public History?
BW offers Ohio's only undergraduate major in public history. BW is a partner of the National Council on Public History, an organization that offers career information about this dynamic, growing career field.


Public History is ideal as a single major or as a companion for a double major. Opportunities include:

  • Archivist
  • Museum curator/manager
  • Historical consultant
  • Librarian
  • Urban planner
  • Government historian
  • Historic preservationist
  • Film/media producer

National Council on Public History offers an explanation of Public History as a major and career field.


Public History is offered as a major and as a certificate program. The major is intensively experiential. Much of the coursework takes place in archives and local museums. There is a required capstone internship.

Students interested in public history may also want to consider history as a major or minor.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Whether it's historic Berea, nearby Metroparks, downtown Cleveland or beyond, BW is within easy access to an array of museums, historical societies, community and professional organizations and more. You'll benefit from practical learning experiences as well as networking opportunities with leading professionals in the field.

Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:

Adams Street Cemetery Project is a collaborative research-based community service project offering you integrative, real-world field experiences. You'll work with faculty, professional historians from the Berea Historical Society and City of Berea personnel to rediscover the lost histories of persons buried in the Adams Street Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Berea.

Students majoring in public history have a wealth of internship opportunities available to them in the Cleveland area. Recent internship experiences include:

  • Shannon Kee '17, intern at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Riza Miklowski '16, intern at Hale Farm and Village


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world.

Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation.


Full-Time Faculty

Indira Gesink
Chair, History Department
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis

Robert Montgomery
Ph.D., Indiana University

Kyriakos Nalmpantis
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Kent State University

Steven E. Siry
Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

Adjunct Faculty

Rachel Boaz
Ph.D., Kent State University

Timothy Mieyal
M.A., Kent State University

Kieth Peppers
University Archivist
M.A., Cleveland State University

Tamara Rand
Ph.D., The University of Akron

Robert Stinson
Ph.D., Indiana University

Thomas Uthup
Ph.D., SUNY-Binghamton

Charles Vesei
M.L.I.S., Wayne State University
M.A., Indiana University