Role of the Municipal Historian

A Brief Summary of the Four State-defined Responsibilities

1. Research and Writing:

The first, and primary, responsibility of the Local Government Historian is interpretation of the past. This involves research and writing on aspects of your muni for publishing in books, magazines, and newspapers.

From the law: “The best local historians have upheld high standards of gathering and evaluating evidence, making thoughtful and appropriate generalizations, writing well-organized and readable narratives, and sharing their work with others through the most appropriate mediums.”

2. Teaching and Public Presentations

As historian, you may teach courses in local and regional history, serve as a resource to teachers in the fourth and seventh grade local history curriculum, serve as a content consultant, speak and lecture to community groups, and participate in radio and TV talk shows to disseminate local history.

3. Historic Preservation

Historians are advocates for historic preservation and a resource to your appointing authority on questions relating to history and preservation. The historian may be asked to prepare a cultural resource survey, identify historic structures and prepare nominations to the State and National Register of Historic Places and to develop and manage historic marker programs.

4. Organization, Advocacy and Tourism Promotion

Historians are asked to organize and direct the commemoration of historical anniversaries and to participate in other civic or patriotic observations. The historian may be asked to act as a fund raiser or grant writer for historical programs. Appointing authorities may ask you to support local tourism.