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, is the voice of the public history movement. It emphasizes original research, fresh conceptualization, 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 the following sectors, among others:
• Exhibition, Interpretation, and Public Engagement
• Public Memory Studies
• Public History Education
• Museum and Historic Site Administration
• Cultural Resources Management Services
• 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 Historic 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.
Research articles, essays, and reports from the field are subject to blind 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. 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 is inconsistent with the conventional standards of scholarly discourse expected in a historical journal.
Please submit manuscripts and letters to the editors by e-mail to the address below.
• Manuscripts should be prepared according the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines and submitted as a double-spaced Word file (WordPerfect is not acceptable). Endnotes should appear at the end of the manuscript and must be double-spaced. The author's name and address should appear only on a separate title page (so that we can send anonymous copies to reviewers). Electronic files should be submitted as e-mail attachments sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Appropriate subtitles of no more than five words in length may be used to divide manuscripts.
• An abstract of approximately 100 words must accompany each manuscript.
• Five key words or phrases must be appended to the abstract. A keyword is defined as a subject term, critical expression, key phrase, abbreviation, or indexing word that is associated with the whole document and can be used for identification, searching, and indexing purposes.
• Accompanying each submitted manuscript should be a brief description of the author's background and work in the field of public history for use in a contributor's note.
• Illustrations, photographs, maps, and other images, are encouraged, and will be included whenever possible. Images should be provided in tiff (preferred) or jpg format, sized at 4” wide with a minimum 300 dpi. Indicate in the text the correct location of the figure and submit a separate sheet with image captions.
Manuscripts, letters to the editor, and all other matters of an editorial nature should be addressed to:
The Public Historian
Department of History
University of California
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9410