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Guide to the Records of the Public History Program RG.20.9

New York University Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2641

New York University Archives

Collection processed by Ashley Jones and Julianna Monjeau. Additional processing by Claire Wolford.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 07, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Container list updated by John Zarrillo Container list updated by Kelly Haydon and John Zarrillo to reflect digitized media and access copies Record updated by Rachel Searcy to reflect 2014 accretion Media formats were corrected by Christine Gennetti  , December 2017 , July 2018 , April 2019 , August 2019

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Public History program date from the founding of the program in 1981 until 2007. The types of items that comprise the collection are paper-based records such as correspondence, annual reports, student compositions, publications, advertisements, and reference materials. The collection additionally contains a range of audio-visual records, including 35mm slides, analog video cassettes, audio cassettes, Hi-8 video cassettes, VHS cassettes, and DVDs.

The collection has been arranged into six series. All records are arranged chronologically within each series, with the exception of personal files that are arranged alphabetically by surname.

Series I: Personal Files. Contains records pertaining to specific individuals who have associated with the program. The series has been divided into two subseries: those attributed to prospective students, and those relating to individuals who became directly involved with the program.

Subseries A: Prospective Student Files. Contains correspondence, resumes, and other papers relating to individuals who were considering the program amongst their academic prospects.

Subseries B: Student and Faculty Files. Contains records that pertain to accepted students and faculty members. The majority of the files are student-related, with only a few files attributed to faculty. These records include correspondence, resumes, and published work of program alumni.

Series II: Program Files. Series is divided into two subseries: one pertaining to administrative records and one including course records.

Subseries A: Administrative Files. Contains records of the program's original directors, Paul Mattingly and Daniel Walkowitz, as well as those produced by departmental administrative assistants. These records allowed for proper functioning of the program with regard to budgeting, financial assistance, and correspondence with external institutions and individuals.

Subseries B: Course Files. Contains records on the development of the program curriculum. These records include syllabi, correspondence amongst professors and deans, and course evaluations.

Series III: Publications. Contains a collection of the program's official newsletters dating from 1984 to 2002. Records included in this series are published versions of newsletter issues, in addition to article drafts and promotional material involved in the planning process.

Series IV: Activities. This series contains records pertaining to the varied activities of the program. The majority of these records can be attributed to the Public History Workshops, and others to the Public History Forums. A small amount of records covers activities not related to either of these events. The series has been divided into three subseries to reflect the distinctions in these activties.

Subseries A: Contains records pertaining to Public History Workshops dating from 1982 to 2007. Records of these workshops include student compositions, correspondence, promotional material, and reference material.

Subseries B: Contains records from the Public History Forums dating from 1984 to 1988. Records of the forums include correspondence, promotional material, and presentation notes.

Subseries C: Contains records from various activities, including field trips, conferences, and other social events.

Series V: Reference Material. Contains educational material published by external institutions and organizations on various topics, such as: New York City, New York University, the Public History movement, and the archival profession. The subjects covered in these publications are those not specifically covered in the Public History Workshops, either entirely unrelated or more broad in scope.

Series VI: Multimedia. Contains audio and visual based materials dating from 1981 to 2007 that relate both directly and indirectly to the program. Most of these materials are related to Public History Workshops, either as recordings of the events or student work involved in their creation. Other records in this series include historical documentaries and educational radio programs. A second accession was made to the collection which contained only multimedia items, mainly VHS cassette tapes and DVD-R disks. These items are housed in Boxes 15 and 16.


The materials in this collection are ordered into six series.


  1. Personal Files
  2. Program Files
  3. Publications
  4. Activities
  5. Reference Material
  6. Multimedia