Are you interested in working at a museum, archive, or historic site? Do you want to try out the skills you’ve acquired as a history student in the real world?
The Rutgers Public History Internship connects students with practical and meaningful hands-on experience at dozens of historical sites and agencies in New Jersey.
Internships are available in Spring, Fall, and Summer semesters. Internships allow you to put your history skills to work, giving you the opportunity to try out a career and learn about the variety of ways you can use your degree, by gaining real-world experience working in museums, archives, libraries, historic sites, and other public and non-profit agencies. Students can pursue the internship to fulfill their requirements for the Certificate in Public History, to complete the capstone requirement for the History major, or simply out of interest and a desire to gain experience. Each semester, the internship cohort meets as a class (506:451) throughout the semester to discuss their experiences, learn more about public history, and hear from a variety of guest speakers who work in the field. Interested students should contact the program coordinator directly to get involved.
Our Public History Interns have previously worked at:
Ellis Island National Historical Park, Puerto Rican Community Archives at the Newark Public Library, Cape May Maritime Museum, Alice Paul House (Paulsdale), East Jersey Old Town Village, Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers Oral History Archives, and more!
What our interns have to say:
- “The Public History Internship Program…led me to new and exciting aspects of history that I had not previously appreciated in the way that they should be. I am invigorated by the ability to show and teach history to a public audience, and make sure my well-researched narrative is not only heard but hopefully comprehended…. spikes someone else’s interest. Overall I could not be more thankful for this experience and hope that I will be in a position one day to reattach myself to a project such as this in one way or another.”
- “I believe the average person needs to understand the importance of their history without it being beat over their head. This semester, this internship, and this class have led me to believe that my future goal will be challenging, but fully achievable. That is what I believe public history is. Something that is challenging, but achievable, helpful and useful to those who gain access to it; and most of all, necessary."
The Public History Internship is a 3 credit course (506:451) open to undergraduate history majors, minors, and students pursuing the Public History Certificate. In this course, students will be placed at a history-related non-profit or other historical agency or institution in New Jersey, and receive instruction from experienced public historians. Each semester, the internship cohort meets as a class throughout the semester to discuss their experiences, learn more about public history, and hear from a variety of guest speakers who work in the field.
Students interested in pursuing a public history internship should meet with the director of the Public History Program, Dr. Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan to discuss their interests and the potentially available opportunities. Students may take a maximum of one internship placement through the program, for a maximum of 3 course credits. Students should meet with the coordinator no later than the middle of the semester preceding the semester in which they want to do an internship. To earn credit, students must work a minimum of 112 hours at the site and attend biweekly class meetings throughout the semester of the placement.
The Public History Internship satisfies the seminar requirement for history majors and is a required course for the Public History Certificate.
A sampling of some of the work our students do in their internship placements:
- An interactive timeline on the history of the Raritan River
- New Brunswick Black History Digital Archive
- Portion of a traveling exhibition, "Climate Justice is Worker Justice" (Climates of Inequality, Humanities Action Lab)
- Collaborated on interpretation of the Zimmerli Art Museum's "American Stories" collection and exhibition
- Developed a program for historical walking tours featuring the Scarlet and Black Project
- ...and more!