Introduction to Public History at Longwood University

At Longwood University, we offer one of the finest public history concentrations currently available nationwide. We provide a faculty with years of experience in numerous public history fields:  archival administration, museum work, historical editing, archeology, historic preservation, national park service work, art history, etc. As a result, we are able to prepare our graduates to pursue job opportunities with the National Park Service; art museums; in federal, state, and local archives; with publishers; and with both civic and private associations dedicated to historic preservation.  See Concentration Requirements for a full list of coursework.

In addition to class preparation, Longwood offers students extensive opportunities to undertake internships designed to provide real hands-on experience in their chosen fields.  Our unique location in Virginia enables our students to engage internships at sites in Washington, D.C., to work at a number of Civil War battlefields, to undertake historic preservation work at a plethora of historic homes, etc.  Students can also expect to become involved in preservation work right here in Southside, Virginia.

Park Photo Appomattox Court House

Over the last two years, our students have undertaken a number of projects including historic preservation and document retrieval at a federalist era plantation; a survey of historic resources in nearby counties; work with the Moton School, site of the 1951 walkout of African-American students which led directly to the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v the Board of Education decision; internships at the Petersburg Battlefield, Fredericksburg Battlefield,

and Saylor's Creek Battlefield; internships with professional associations including the American Historical Association, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Museum of the Confederacy; as well as a host of other projects  (See Internships).

Moton School

In addition, our program offers students the opportunity to undertake research resulting in publications (see Student Publications).  Most recently, we have created a Rural Genealogical Center, which provides our students with first hand experience in tracing roots for those members of our community interested in researching their ancestry.

For more information on the public history concentration at Longwood University, please contact Dr. Deborah Welch, Director of Public History at or (434) 395-2773.  Requests for information will be answered by faculty as well by students currently in the public history program.