Public History

Public History

No matter what your interests, from cotton candy to motorcycles, there is a museum somewhere that shares them.  No matter what your skills, from sewing to finance to IT, history museums everywhere need you on their team.  From anywhere you live, you can follow your passion into public history.

Public history is a leadership field that keeps you learning for your whole life, lets you play with the coolest stuff, and brings the public to you to share the fun.

In Penn State Abington’s History department, you can start with the introductory public history course to learn about the field.  Stay on for the advanced practice course, then do a three-credit internship that we’ll help you find. You’ll finish the Public History certificate with professionally meaningful experience, the beginnings of a professional network, and our full and continuing support in getting your first career job and moving ahead.

Coming Event:

On Saturday, April 21, Abington’s public history program invites the public to explore, honor, and enjoy Cheltenham’s important contributions to the Civil War.  All events are free and open to the public. 

This event aims to educate and unite a community through the power of history and understanding the importance all backgrounds played in this pivotal moment in our countries history.

Join us on Saturday, April 21!

Events will be happening throughout the day.

  • 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Philadelphia National Cemetery, 6909 Limekiln Pike
    • Ceremonial unveiling of a plaque honoring veterans of the United State ColoredTroops (Black soldiers who fought for the Union, 1863-1866). Organized by local veterans, re-enactors from the 3rd PA Regiment, USCT, and Citizens for the Restoration of Historic LaMott. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will speak.  Light refreshments to follow.
  • 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7809 Old York Road
    • St. Paul’s will showcase its “Old York Road to Freedom” and “Underground Railroad” exhibits, as well as musical shorts from the history of WIBG, 1920s religious radio in the church basement that became Philly’s only top-40 rock and roll station in the 1950s and 60s.  Visitors will also meet “Harriet Tubman,” as presented by Dr. Daisy Century.

We are grateful for assistance from Old York Road Historical Society and interest shown in this event by the Cheltenham Township Commission.

Also, see -

A recent article on the history of Camp William Penn.


Case Study

See this small virtual exhibit, created by the Fall 2015 Advanced Public History class.  Every Advanced class does a different project in public history.  The Fall 2015 class used our own family histories to explore how, even when the "American Dream" of making a new life comes true, success still came with painful losses.