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Public History Classes travel to Charleston

On October 11 the public history classes took a field trip to the West Virginia Capitol in Charleston. Students in these classes had the opportunity to learn from professionals working in the public history field in various capacities. Our Public History classes this semester contain a mix of MA students with a concentration in Public History, MA students from other historical fields, and PhD graduate students from varied fields. 

Students visited the West Virginia State Archives and learned about their highway marker program. Students in HIST 750: Public History Methods have the option of writing a highway marker as a class project. Joe Geiger, Director of WV State Archives, provided a tour of the archives and an inside look at the collections. 
WV archives
The West Virginia Humanities Council welcomed students into their building to learn about their work. They learned about Golden Seal magazine, the West Virginia Encyclopedia project as well as it's online counterpart, and the grants program. 

In the afternoon, students met with Roxy Todd at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Todd hosts the radio show "Inside Appalachia" and discussed the art of storytelling in radio. 
Staff members at the West Virginia State Museum also met with students to provide an inside look at the Museum. Students explored the collections and had the opportunity to ask questions of the Museum Director, Charles Morris. Former Exhibit Designer Stan Bumgardner provided a personal tour of the exhibits at the museum as students went through. Students also had the opportunity to discuss education, collections, and exhibit design with other staff members. 

This trip provided a great opportunity for students to explore different aspects of pubic history within our own state. They met with professionals working across the field in varied capacities. In addition they encountered many project opportunities that they can use for school projects and engage with for their own professional development.