Professional and Scholarly

Websites and Resources On Heritage Education, Interpretation, and Public History

While interest in heritage predates the beginnings of history as a professional field of study (1884), formal Heritage Education/Public History departments in higher education and other professional agencies and entities represent a relatively new field of study. Dating from the 1970s, heritage studies/public history has grown from a few scattered informal programs to formal programs found throughout the nation. The most advanced heritage education programs remain, however, in Great Britain.

The following links feature particular organizations that promote the professional standards and applications for heritage studies/public history in the United States, Great Britain, and with the United Nations:

The Public History Resource Center exists to support, promote, and disseminate the scholarly and professional work of public historians. The Resource Center provides a forum for research, scholarship, networking, and education in public history and seeks to broaden and deepen the general public's awareness of the field of public history in all its diversity and complexity.

The National Council on Public History promotes professionalism among history practitioners and encourages their engagement with the public. NCPH publishes a respected national journal, hosts national, regional, and local conferences.

National Association for Interpretation provides leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession. NAV published as professional journal and hosts national, regional, and local conferences.

The World Heritage Centre is at the forefront of the international community’s efforts to protect and preserve. From emergency assistance to safeguard properties in danger, to long term conservation, management planning, technical assistance, professional training, public and youth education, and awareness-building, the World Heritage Centre and its partners have developed a series of initiatives and have been actively involved in the implementation of projects, participatory workshops, seminars and training courses.

English Heritage exists to protect and promote England's spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood.

Pennsylvania Historical Association is the premier organization on the promotion of Pennsylvania's heritage resources.

The number of links available for American heritage is staggering. The following are merely a list of suggestions of several web site that we not only endorse, but believe to stand among the very best available. We offer these for your review with some commentary. Happy hunting!

Smithsonian Is perhaps the single best resource for American material culture. The entire collection is slated to be digitalized at some point in the near future!

Library of Congress An Excellent list of Primary Documents, 1763-1815. Contains copies of original documents plus numerous, high-quality links to other materials associated with the original document, era, themes

National Archives Charters of Freedom: Another excellent and authoritative listing of primary documents featuring the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other documents. Includes wonderful references and additional web sites. "A User's Guide to the Declaration of Independence," The Claremont Institute, is the single BEST web source on learning about and teaching the Declaration of Independence.

The following links feature representative university and college programs for heritage studies/public history (this listing does not constitute a ranking or evaluation of heritage studies/public history programs):

American University program in Public History

Florida State program in Museum Studies

James Madison University program in Public History

Leicester University program in Museum Studies (Great Britain)

Newcastle University program in Heritage Studies (Great Britain)