National Council on Public History Records, 1977-2002

Finding aid created by Debra Brookhart

Creator: National Council on Public History (U.S.)
Title: National Council on Public History Records
Collection No.: MSS021
Dates: 1977-2002
Quantity:

Quantity: 17.1 cubic feet

Quantity: 17 cartons, 9 pamphlet boxes, 11 audio cassettes

Abstract: The National Council on Public History (NCPH) was formed in 1979 to meet the needs of historians practicing history outside the traditional realms of academia. The NCPH acts as a mechanism for bringing this diverse group of professionals together through programs; a scholarly journal, The Public Historian; workshops and seminars; and an annual conference. A membership organization, governed by a board of directors and operated by an executive secretary, the NCPH continues to serve a diverse audience. This collection contains correspondence, minutes, reports, papers, publications, and audio tapes.
Language: English
Repository: IUPUI General Collections
IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis, IN 46202
speccoll@iupui.edu
URL: http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/special

Historical Note

The creation of the National Council on Public History (NCPH) in 1979 symbolized the changes in the historical profession during the 1970s. As the number of available teaching positions in the nation's colleges and universities became more limited, a growing number of historians found employment in historical societies, museums, governmental agencies, private businesses, and other venues outside of traditional academia. By the late 1970s these practitioners of "public history" (a phrase coined by Robert Kelley of the University of California, Santa Barbara) wanted a professional organization that would address their concerns and interests. The establishment of NCPH met this need.

The movement towards an organization for public historians began in 1978 when G. Wesley Johnson organized a public history conference in Phoenix. Johnson, Kelley's colleague in the History Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), was involved with the public history graduate program that Kelley had started at UCSB in 1976. The Phoenix meeting, funded by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council, brought together people from many parts of the country who were involved in public history. The success of the conference created interest in holding a national conference the following year.

The 1979 meeting, called the National Conference on Public History, met in April in Montecito, California, near Santa Barbara. UCSB hosted the event, which received financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over sixty people attended the conference. The attendees expressed a desire to create an organization that would promote and support public history and its practitioners, so a steering committee was set up to explore the feasibility of the idea.

The steering committee met in the main seminar room of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. on September 14, 1979. The committee voted to organize a new professional organization, to be known as the National Council of Public History (NCPH). G. Wesley Johnson would serve as the acting chairman. The group appointed five study committees to work out the details for setting up NCPH and to plan the second National Conference on Public History, to be held April 18-20, 1980, in Pittsburgh. The study committees would present their recommendations to the full steering committee at the second conference.

At its April meeting the steering committee voted to adopt a council structure for NCPH rather than make it a membership organization, in part due to concerns of whether there would be enough people willing to join NCPH to make it a viable membership organization. The steering committee became the Board of Directors of NCPH and increased its membership to 32 members by adding two people from each of the five study committees. Each member made an annual payment of $100 to be on the Board. The bylaws adopted in December, 1980, formally codified this arrangement. The bylaws also established the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, composed of the chair, the vice-chair, the secretary, the treasurer, and three members of the board. G. Wesley Johnson became the first chair of NCPH and served two terms in the position. An amendment to the bylaws in September, 1990, changed the position titles to President and Vice-President. The individuals who have held the position of Chair or President have been:

  1. G. Wesley Johnson : 1981-1983
  2. Larry Tise : 1983-1984
  3. Jack Holl : 1984-1985
  4. Noel J. Stowe : 1985-1986
  5. Michael Scardaville : 1986-1987
  6. Arnita Jones : 1987-1988
  7. Barbara J. Howe : 1988-1989
  8. Theodore J. Karamanski : 1989-1990
  9. David Kyvig : 1990-1991
  10. Brit Allan Storey : 1991-1992
  11. Martin Melosi : 1992-1993
  12. Philip Scarpino : 1993-1994
  13. Patricia Mooney-Melvin : 1994-1995
  14. Jeffrey Brown : 1995-1996
  15. Diane F. Britton : 1996-1997
  16. Jannelle Warren Findley : 1997-1998
  17. Dwight Pitcaithley : 1998-1999
  18. Michael J. Devine : 1999-2000
  19. Alan Newall : 2000-2001
  20. Patrick O'Bannon : 2001-2002
  21. Rebecca Conard : 2002-2003
  22. James Gardner : 2003-2004
  23. Sharon Babaian : 2004-2005
  24. William Bryans : 2005-2006

The bylaws also created an associates category. Associates were not members of NCPH but could subscribe to the NCPH newsletter and to The Public Historian, NCPH's official journal.

The Public Historian actually predated NCPH. The Graduate Program in Public Historical Studies at UCSB, using funds provided by the Humanities Division of the Rockefeller Foundation, published the first issue in the fall of 1978 with G. Wesley Johnson as editor. Additional money from the Rockefeller Foundation supported the publication of subsequent issues until the subscriber base and other revenues grew large enough to cover costs. The University of California Press became the publisher of The Public Historian in 1981. Johnson remained the editor of the journal until 1987. His successor was Carroll Pursell, who served as editor until leaving UCSB in 1989. The third editor was Otis L. Graham, Jr., who held the position from 1989 until 1997, followed by Shelley Bookspan from 1999 to 2002. She was succeeded by Anne Marie Plane, who served as editor from 2002 until the Spring 2004 issue when she and Mary E. Hancock became co-editors. In 2006 Randy Bergstrom became the editor.

The growth of NCPH in its early years soon created the need for a staff person who could handle the day-to-day operations of the organizations. In April, 1981 the Board established the position of Executive Director. Philip Cantelon, a member of NCPH's first Board of Directors, accepted the unpaid position and served until 1983. In that year Board Member Donna Munger of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission took over the administrative work of NCPH with the title of Executive Secretary.

Important changes took place in NCPH during 1984. An amendment to the bylaws converted NCPH from a council into a full membership organization. The Board of Directors voted to create the Executive Secretariat, an administrative office run by the Executive Secretary that would handle all of the general business operations of NCPH. The position of Executive Director was discontinued. The Board requested that interested institutions submit proposals for hosting the Executive Secretariat, and in April, 1984 awarded the office to West Virginia University (WVU). Barbara J. Howe, director of WVU's public history program, became the Executive Secretary.

The Secretariat remained at WVU until 1987, when it was moved to Northeastern University in Boston. R. Wayne Anderson became the Executive Secretary and held the post until 1989, when Susan Keats took over the position. In 1990, the Secretariat moved to Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), its current location, with Elizabeth Brand Monroe assuming the position of Executive Secretary. An amendment to the NCPH bylaws in 1992 changed the position's title to Executive Director. David Vanderstel succeeded Monroe in 1994, and John Dichtl, the current Executive Director succeeded him.

NCPH's 1980 articles of incorporation stated the purpose of NCPH was "to encourage, represent, promote, and foster educational and other activities relating to public history in the United States." One of the means used to meet these objectives has been the annual meetings. Beginning with the 1979 and 1980 meetings that played an important role in the creation of NCPH, the organization has held annual meetings where sessions and workshops deal with both the theoretical and practical sides of public history. In 1986, NCPH held its first jointly sponsored annual meeting with the Organization of American Historians (OAH). The two groups continue periodically to hold joint annual meetings. NCPH has also held joint meetings with the Society for History in the Federal Government, the Southwest Oral History Association, and other historical organizations.

Scope and Contents

The records of the National Council on Public History are divided into five series: Board of Directors Records, Administration Records, Conference Records, Program Records, Publication Records, and Audio Cassettes. For initial research of the overall activities of the NCPH, the records of the Board of Directors is the best place to look. The Board records cover the longest period of time containing the most valuable information. Details about the specific issues discussed in the Board records can be found through the other series.

Board of Directors Records, 1979-1999, contain the minutes of the board of directors meetings, committee reports and minutes, and correspondence. These minutes include attachments of reports, important correspondence, and agreements. The files related to the committees contain the minutes of committee meetings and reports. The committee files are arranged alphabetically and include the Program Committee, Finance Committee, Local Arrangements Committee, Publications Committee, Nominating Committee, Membership Committee, Curriculum and Training Committee, and Cultural Resources Management Committee. The length and frequency of the reports depended greatly on the activity of the committee.

Administration Records, 1979-1998, contain correspondence, reports, financial information, and official documents maintained in the office of the Executive Director of the NCPH. The documents important to the founding of the organization are found here and include the articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other official documents. For further information regarding the founding of the NCPH, the correspondence files located in this series should also be consulted. The correspondence includes details related to how the organizational structure was determined and problems related to the programs and activities of the NCPH from the point of view of three NCPH officers. The records also include the membership directory, a list only compiled in 1989 and 1993, and documents dealing with the policies and operation of the offices of the NCPH. The financial documents include a financial status report covering the decade of the 1980s, correspondence, annual financial reports, and tax returns. For the most complete financial picture of the organization, both the annual financial reports and the tax returns should be consulted.

Conference Records, 1980-2001, contain programs, schedules, and reports to the Board from the NCPH Annual Conference. The programs give an account of the sessions, speakers, workshops, and tours given at the conferences. The final reports compiled by the program committee consolidate the information about the conference including finances, conflicts and resolutions, and impacts of the conference.

Program Records, 1980-1997, contain correspondence, grant proposals and applications, oral histories, workshops, surveys, and scripts. These files contain brief accounts of the types of activities and services performed by the NCPH. The survey files include copies of the original survey forms containing the initial questions and the final reports. These surveys of the organization's members include topics such as participation in NCPH activities, member characteristics, and the trends within a member's particular institution.

Publication Records, 1977-2002, contain the files of The Public Historian, Public History News, and other publications sponsored by the NCPH. Included in the records of The Public Historian are copies of the journal's accepted and rejected manuscripts with correspondence and editorial comments, the files of the editorial board, reports from the press, and records of negotiations between the University of California Press and the NCPH about the status of the journal. These groups are arranged alphabetically with the manuscript files arranged separately, divided into accepted and rejected papers, and organized chronologically. This is the largest portion of the collection and detail the editorial process and viewpoints of the association. Manuscripts less than twenty years old are not open to the public.

Audio Cassettes, 1979-1994, contain recordings documenting the creation and development of the organization with interviews of individuals instrumental in its formation.

Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open to the public without restriction with the exception of The Public Historian's manuscript records. Manuscript records less than 20 years old are closed.

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Indexed Terms

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: National Council on Public History Records, 1977-2002, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by the National Council on Public History, Indianapolis, IN, 1995-2000. A96-31, A96-46, A1997/98-015, A1998/99-013, A1998/99-017, A1999/00-005, A2000/01-011, A2000/01-014, A2000/01-042, A2001/02-004, A2002/03-004.

Collection Inventory

Series:

Board of Directors Records , 1979-1999

Language: English

box 1
folder 1-32
Board Minutes , 1979-1995

Language: English

box 14
folder 1-8
Board Minutes , 1996-1999

Language: English

box 1
folder 33-35
Committee Reports , 1980-1995

Language: English

box 14
folder 9
Committee Reports , 1995-1998

Language: English

box 1
folder 36
Correspondence , 1981-1993

Language: English

Series:

Administration Records , 1979-1998

Language: English

box 2
folder 1
American Council of Learned Societies , 1990-1991

Language: English

box 2
folder 2
Annual Reports , 1982/83-1990/91, 1992/93

Language: English

box 2
folder 3
Articles of Incorporation , 1981, 1997

Language: English

box 2
folder 4
Bylaws , 1980-1997

Language: English

box 14
folder 10
Correspondence - Rebecca Conrad , 1995-1996

Language: English

box 14
folder 11-12
Correspondence - Martin Melosi, president , 1985-1986

Language: English

box 14
folder 13-14
Correspondence - Patricia Mooney-Melivin, president , 1993-1995

Language: English

box 2
folder 5-22
Correspondence - Robert Pomroy, treasurer , 1978-1984

Language: English

box 14
folder 15
Correspondence - Michael Scardaville, committee chair , 1985

Language: English

box 2
folder 23
Correspondence - Phil Scarpino, president , 1993

Language: English

box 2
folder 24-25
Correspondence - Brit Allen Story, president , 1988-1992

Language: English

box 3
folder 1-2
Executive Secretariat , 1983-1992

Language: English

Subseries:

Finances

Language: English

box 3
folder 3
A Review of Financial Records , 1980-1989, 1990

Language: English

box 3
folder 4
Annual Financial Reports , 1980-1981, 1984-1998

Language: English

box 3
folder 5
Audits , 1982-1984, 1990, 1998

Language: English

box 3
folder 6
Correspondence , 1981-1991, 1994

Language: English

box 3
folder 7
IRS Status , 1979-1996

Language: English

box 3
folder 8
Tax Returns , 1982-1993

Language: English

box 14
folder 16
Tax Returns , 1994-1998

Language: English

box 3
folder 9
Graduate Interns , 1988-1995

Language: English

box 3
folder 10
Independent Consultants , 1982-1983

Language: English

box 3
folder 11
Membership Directory , 1989, 1993

Language: English

box 3
folder 12
Origins of the National Council on Public History , 1979-1983

Language: English

box 3
folder 13
Publicity , 1982-1990

Language: English

Series:

Conference Records , 1980-2001

Language: English

box 3
folder 14-35
Conference Records , 1980-1999

Language: English

box 14
folder 17
Conference Records , 2000-2001

Language: English

Series:

Program Records , 1980-1997

Language: English

box 3
folder 36
American Family - Family History and Public Policy , 1981-1982

Language: English

box 4
folder 1
Corporate Archives Guide Proposal , 1988

Language: English

box 4
folder 2
History Goes Public , ca. 1984

Language: English

box 4
folder 3
History of NCPH , 1988-1989

Language: English

box 4
folder 4-13
Institute on Teaching Public History , 1982-1985

Language: English

box 4
folder 14
Internships , 1984-1985

Language: English

box 4
folder 15
Interpreting the Industrial Landscape - A Summer Institute , 1988-1989

Language: English

box 4
folder 16
Mid-America Public History Conference , 1988

Language: English

box 4
folder 17
Museum Workshop , 1995

Language: English

box 4
folder 18
National Endowment of the Humanities Grant , 1985-1986

Language: English

box 4
folder 19
Oral History of Public History , 1988

Language: English

box 17
folder 18
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Hewlett, Richard , 1995

Language: English

box 26
folder 4-5
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Rasmussen, Wayne (Audio Interview) , 1990

Language: English

box 17
folder 19
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Rasmussen, Wayne (Transcripts) , 1990-1991

Language: English

box 26
folder 6-7
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Trask, David (Audio Interview) , 1990

Language: English

box 17
folder 20
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Trask, David (Transcripts) , 1998

Language: English

box 26
folder 8-11
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Wells, Merle W. (Audio Interview) , 1994

Language: English

box 17
folder 21
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Project - Wells, Merle W. (Transcripts) , 1994, 2002

Language: English

box 14
folder 18
Public History Program Director's Meeting , 1992-1993

Language: English

box 4
folder 20
Public History Today Video Project , 1986-1989

Language: English

box 4
folder 21
Small Projects , 1986-1989

Language: English

box 4
folder 22
Surveys - Accreditation Survey , 1990-1991

Language: English

box 14
folder 19
Surveys - Career Assessment and Professional Needs Survey , 1995-1997

Language: English

box 4
folder 23
Surveys - General , 1980-1982

Language: English

box 4
folder 24-27
Surveys - Membership Survey , 1991

Language: English

box 4
folder 28
Surveys - Participation Survey , 1983

Language: English

box 4
folder 29
Teaching History After the Cold War , 1991

Language: English

Series:

Publication Records , 1977-2002

Language: English

box 4
folder 30-32
A Collection of Public History Course Syllabi , 1987, 1989, 1996

Language: English

box 4
folder 33
Brochures , 1980-1999

Language: English

box 4
folder 34
Careers Chart , 1982

Language: English

box 4
folder 35
Careers for Students of History , 1989

Language: English

box 4
folder 36
Craft of Public History , 1982

Language: English

box 4
folder 37
Directory of Historical Consultants , 1981-1989

Language: English

box 4
folder 38
Guide to Continuing Education for Public Historians , 1987

Language: English

box 4
folder 39-40
Guide to Graduate Programs in Public History , 1986, 1990, 1996

Language: English

Subseries:

The Public Historian

Language: English

box 4
folder 41
Ad Hoc Press Committee , 1992-1994

Language: English

box 4
folder 42
Complaints , 1983

Language: English

box 4
folder 43
Correspondence , 1982-1988

Language: English

box 5
folder 1
Correspondence , 1988-1997

Language: English

box 5
folder 2-4
Editorial Board - Correspondence , 1979-1997

Language: English

box 5
folder 5
Editorial Board - Minutes , 1983 - 1994, 1997

Language: English

box 5
folder 6-8
Editorial Board - Monthly Manuscript Reports , 1982 - 1989, 1992 - 1993

Language: English

box 5
folder 9
Editorial Board - Solicitations , 1989

Language: English

box 5
folder 10-33
Manuscripts - Accepted , Fall 1978 - Fall 1981

Language: English

box 6
folder 1-30
Manuscripts - Accepted , Winter 1982 - Fall 1984

Language: English

box 7
folder 1-42
Manuscripts - Accepted , Winter 1985 - Fall 1987

Language: English

box 8
folder 1-64
Manuscripts - Accepted , Fall 1987 - Fall 1990

Language: English

box 9
folder 1-68
Manuscripts - Accepted , Fall 1990 - Winter 1995

Language: English

box 10
folder 1-40
Manuscripts - Accepted , Spring 1995 - Fall 1998

Language: English

box 14
folder 20-40
Manuscripts - Accepted , Winter 1999 - Summer 1999

Language: English

box 15
folder 1-14
Manuscripts - Accepted , Summer 1999 - Spring 2000

Language: English

box 10
folder 41-68
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1977-1981

Language: English

box 11
folder 1-89
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1981-1984

Language: English

box 12
folder 1-84
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1984-1988

Language: English

box 13
folder 1-64
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1988-1993

Language: English

box 15
folder 15-76
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1988-1994

Language: English

box 16
folder 1-84
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1994-1998

Language: English

box 17
folder 1-17
Manuscripts - Rejected , 1998-1999

Language: English

box 13
folder 65
Memorandum of Agreement , 1980, 1984 - 1986, 1988, 1994

Language: English

box 13
folder 66
Ownership Crisis , 1984

Language: English

box 13
folder 67
Policies , ca. 1980s

Language: English

box 18
folder 1-12

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 1978 - Spring 1982

Language: English

box 19
folder 1-11

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Summer 1982 - Summer 1985

Language: English

box 20
folder 1-9

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 1985 - Summer 1988

Language: English

box 21
folder 1-9

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 1988 - Summer 1991

Language: English

box 22
folder 1-9

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 1991 - Summer 1994

Language: English

box 23
folder 1-10

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 1994 - Summer 1997

Language: English

box 24
folder 1-10

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 1997 - Spring 2000

Language: English

box 25
folder 1-10

Subseries:

The Public Historian Journal , Fall 2000 - Winter 2002

Language: English

Subseries:

Public History News

Language: English

box 13
box 68
Correspondence , 1985-1987

Language: English

box 13
box 69
Mission Statement , ca. 1987

Language: English

box 13
box 70-74
Newsletter , 1980-1999

Language: English

Series:

Audio Cassettes , 1979-1994

Language: English

box 26
folder A01-A02
American Historical Association Meeting (formation of the NCPH) , 1979

Language: English

box 26
folder A03
Interview with Philip Cantelon , 1989

Language: English

box 26
folder A04-A05
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Interviews - Rasmussen, Wayne , 1990

Language: English

box 26
folder A06-A07
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Interviews - Trask, David , 1998

Language: English

box 26
folder A08-A11
Pioneers in Public History Oral History Interviews - Wells, Merle W. , 1994

Language: English

box 26
Him Mark Lai Tape 1 , 2002-07-21

No(s): 45000000124344

Language: English

box 26
Him Mark Lai Tape 2 , 2002-07-21

No(s): 45000000124351

Language: English

box 26
Him Mark Lai Tape 3 , 2002-08-21

No(s): 45000000124336

Language: English

box 26
Blank , 1989-02-04

No(s): 45000000124245

Language: English

box 26
Wayne Rasmvssen (1) , 1990-03-20

No(s): 45000000124294

Language: English

box 26
Wayne Rasmvssen (2) , undated

No(s): 45000000124302

Language: English

box 26
David Trask Tape 1 , 1998-09-15

No(s): 45000000124328

Language: English

box 26
David Trask Tape 2 , 1998-09-15

No(s): 45000000124310

Language: English

box 26
American Historical Association , 1979-12-27

No(s): 45000000124229

Language: English

box 26
American Historical Association , 1979-12-27

No(s): 45000000124237

Language: English

box 26
Interview by William E. Tydeman Tape 35 , 1994-10-08

No(s): 45000000124252

Language: English

box 26
Interview by William E. Tydeman Tape 36 , 1994-10-08

No(s): 45000000124260

Language: English

box 26
Interview by William E. Tydeman Tape 37 , 1994-10-08

No(s): 45000000124278

Language: English

box 26
Interview by William E. Tydeman Tape 38 , 1994-10-08

No(s): 45000000124286

Language: English

Conditions Governing Access: Audio cassette

:

Audio cassette