Digital humanities projects have spread like wildfire over the past decade, with training programs and centers popping up in institutions across the country. Inclusions and exclusions of the past in the digital sphere happen every day, and public historians are ideal candidates to lead this revolution.
As public historians, we do not bring only our knowledge of research and writing to these efforts. Our public history training provides us with great familiarity with the history of preservation efforts and an understanding of the importance of funding, authority, audience and stakeholders in historical work. Finally, we bring our commitments to community engagement and shared authority which are particularly important in the new field of digital history which is fraught with questions of costs, expertise and access.
What specific jobs do I mean?
–Digital history project managers and staff who create, construct and maintain innovative work.
–Archives and special collections staff positions in digital preservation and web-based digital humanities projects.
–Digital humanities center staff jobs, as they are created in colleges and universities.
–Faculty jobs in which professors both teach digital history and engage in the theoretical issues that the new field raises.
P.S. The website http://www.versatilephd.com/ is a great resource for us as we continue this conversation. While the website’s name focuses on the Ph.D., the site is in reality a clearinghouse of information for people with training in the humanities, easily encompassing historians who have strengths in public education, research and writing, and organizational skills. The site is now available to both individual members who can sign up for free, and to institutional college and university members.