School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

MHY7077 - Public Internship

MHY7077 – Public History Internship

Convenor: Dr Olwen Purdue

What is this course about?

In this module you will be given the opportunity to engage with the core ideas, debates and best practices in the field of public history and to get hands-on experience of ‘doing’ public history through a placement in one of a wide range of cultural institutions, heritage sites and visitor attractions.

For approximately 14 days spread over the semester, you will undertake an internship with an institution or organisation of your choice where you will get hands-on experience of working in a public history environment. By shadowing and engaging with public history professionals, you will acquire broad experience in their particular field and become familiar with the range of issues that they face in the course of their work. You will also work on specific tasks or projects, allowing you to engage in a very practical way with issues such as preservation, archiving, digital collections, exhibition development, and communicating to a range of audiences.

Current opportunities include: Titanic Belfast, Ulster Museum, PRONI, Castle Leslie, Mount Stewart, Hillsborough Castle, QUB Special Collections, Crusaders FC, Armagh Public Library, Clifton House (Old Poorhouse, Belfast), Newry & Mourne Museum, Ulster-American Folk Park, Museum of Free Derry, Presbyterian Historical Society.

How is this course taught and assessed?

The Public History Internship module is taught mainly through the internship, observing and engaging with practitioners and gaining hands-on experience of working in a public history environment. There will also be a series of workshops, roundtables and special events at Queen’s which will provide an opportunity to discuss issues relating to the practice of public history with people from a wide range of backgrounds.

Assessment is by course work, including a reflective essay and a poster presentation.

What can I read in advance?

There are no core texts for this module, but the following pieces on public history are recommended:

• Hilda Kean and Paul Martin (eds.) The public history reader (London: Routledge, 2013)

• L. Jordanova, History in practice (London: Arnold, 2000)

• J. Tosh, The pursuit of history: aims, methods and new directions in the study of modern history (London: Longman, 2002).