Here are the websites and information on a few professional associations you should know about. In addition to providing you with some idea of what it is historians actually do, some of these websites have useful career resources and information on internships.
The largest organization of historians, the AHA is an organization you may encounter frequently in your career. For instance, at some point you’ll probably read articles in the American Historical Review, which it publishes. Among many other things it does, it provides career information that is useful for students. A number of on-line publications are available: go to the website and look under the links to Jobs and Careers and to Publications and you’ll find useful resources.
This is the largest organization of American historians—here, that means historians who study the Americas, regardless of where they live. The OAH is another organization you probably will run into throughout your career. In addition to their journal (The Journal of American History), they publish an excellent magazine on teaching history (The OAH Magazine of History). This website contains quite a bit of career information.
This is the organization for social studies teachers in Pennsylvania—the primary state professional group. It issues publications, runs conferences, and does a lot of other things—including serving as the state’s main advocate for the teaching of social studies.
The national level counterpart to the Pennsylvania Council, the NCSS represents the teaching of social studies at the national level. This involves coordinating conferences and research on education, publishing reports, advocacy activities at the federal level, and many other activities.
The NCPH is the nation's largest organization of “public historians”—broadly, historians whose careers are outside the classroom. This could include archivists, historic preservationists, museum professionals, etc. (of course, all of these careers have their own specific professional organizations, too). The NCPH site has job and internship listings, which you might find interesting to look at. It also offers for sale a couple of publications for those interested in careers in public history, as well as links to many universities that offer coursework and programs in this field.
We all know the NPS, a federal agency charged with protecting and interpreting both natural and cultural resources. In addition to all the other things this website provides, it has information on career and volunteer opportunities with the NPS, which will help you see what a career with this organization might involve. It also has an internship link (click on Getting Involved on the homepage to get there) that is useful.
This organization is the official historical organization for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The PHMC operates the State Museum, State Archives, several museums across Pennsylvania, the Historical Marker Program, and has many other responsibilities. It also has a good internship program; there’s a link for this on its homepage.
The History Department’s website includes career information, with more to come soon—but you already know that, no doubt!
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