Public History - Internships & Resources

The professional study of history has--and should have--a robust life outside of the ivory tower, and we prepare our M.A. and Ph.D. students to work in the broad field of public history. To that end, we encourage interested graduate students to seek out internships in the field. The goal of an internship is to provide students with professional, hands-on experience making the past relevant and accessible to the wider public. A Public History Internship will help prepare students for a dynamic career in the twenty-first-century workforce. Students will gain professional contacts and foster relationships that will aid in finding employment after graduation. 

Recently, our students have worked in a variety of public history settings: museums and historical societies; libraries and archives; digital humanities projects; historical interpretive sites; national and state parks; government agencies; local, regional, and tribal heritage associations; and historic preservation firms and agencies. Most students find internships in the Missoula area during the academic term. Winter break and summers have enabled some students to pursue more distant opportunities. 

Graduate students may earn academic credit for their internship work by enrolling in HSTA 598 and having their internship approved by their advisor and the Graduate Internship Coordinator, Professor Jody Pavilack. For more information, please contact Professor Pavilack. 

Local Internship Opportunities

Historical Museum at Fort Missoula

The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula was established in 1975 to collect, preserve, and interpret the history of Missoula County and western Montana for the education, recreation, and cultural enrichment of visitors and area residents. The HMTFM Internship Program involves graduate student interns in collections and exhibits as well as public education. Contact Ted Hughes, Curator of Collections, for more information.

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library Archives and Special Collections

The Archives and Special Collections at University of Montana's Mansfield Library documents the regional history of Montana and the Rocky Mountain West through its unique and valuable manuscript and print holdings. Graduate student interns work in collections and exhibits, oral histories, and digital archives. Contact Donna McCrea, Head of Archives and Special Collections, for more information.

Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History

The RMMMH offers intern positions throughout the year, and graduate students have opportunities to work with collections and exhibits, participate in administering the American Association for State and Local History's STEPS internal museum evaluation, and learn to use the Past Perfect museum inventory program. Contact Tate Jones, Executive Director of the RMMMH, for more information.

Other Internship Possibilities

In addition to the internships listed above, opportunities abound at various local, state, and regional institutions. We encourage our students to explore the full range of options and to inquire about possibilities at these and other organizations:

Public History Resources