The Public History program at Roanoke College offers a six-credit concentration in public history. Our students engage in a mixture of classroom experiences complimented by real-world learning through off-campus internships and on-campus public history practica. You can read more about the program on the college’s website.
Public History students benefit from the great variety of local and regional historical resources in the area. On-campus experiences include working with the Roanoke College Archives; helping with the restoration of the Clay Street House (an early nineteenth-century property owned by the college); conducting archaeological excavations at Monterey House slave quarters (another nineteenth-century site owned by the college); as well as opportunities to work with specialists in the college’s Fintel Library and Olin Gallery.
Off-campus resources include internship experiences and opportunities for research with the Salem Museum & Historical Society; the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (which has a satellite office on our campus); the Roanoke Public Libraries; the Taubman Museum of Art; the Virginia Museum of Transportation; the Harrison Museum of African American Culture; the O. Winston Link Museum. And that’s just in the Roanoke Valley! Our students have completed internships at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and at other prestigious institutions across the United States. Click here for a full list of recent internship sites.
Students also have the opportunity to work one-on-one with Dr. Gregory Samantha Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Public History, on independent research projects. Recent collaborations include independent study projects on the history of the Black Public History Movement; the history of Black Radical Thought; Issues in Digital History; the Theory and Practice of Oral History; and Black Queer Studies and Queer Oral History. Students may also enroll in work-study research assistantships with the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project, an ongoing queer community history project. Students have received one-on-one training in oral history theory and practice; archival accessioning procedures; and digital history methods. Our students also have opportunities to attend community meetings and contribute to ongoing public history projects in the community.
For more information about the public history program, contact Dr. Gregory Samantha Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of Public History, Roanoke College, (540) 375-5257, firstname.lastname@example.org