TITLE: Public History Resource Center
Public history is a rapidly growing academic field; over one hundred American and Canadian universities offer degrees in the discipline, and public historians work in countless museums, archives, and local history associations. The Public History Resource Center's (PHRC) mission is to provide a "forum for research, scholarship, networking, and education in public history," and their Web site serves this mission by providing a valuable online resource for students, librarians, and public history professionals.
PHRC's Web site was redesigned in February 2003, and is exemplary in design, delivery, and intellectual content. This easy-to-navigate Web site includes general information about public history, a collection of online publications by the PHRC, and navigation aids and authority information.
The information section includes essays on the meaning of public history, descriptive essays on various jobs in the field, links to degree-offering programs, and dozens of graduate and undergraduate syllabi for courses in public history, oral history, archival studies, preservation, and other topics. It also offers a drop-down menu of resources selectable across a range of topics.
The publications section includes articles on archival and genealogical topics and "in the field" essays by practicing public historians. It includes a collection of Web site reviews organized by such topics as the Progressive Era, labor history, women's history, and African-American history. Web sites are evaluated by such criteria as content/scope, authority/bias, and currency, and there is an impressive section outlining PHRC's Web site evaluation methodology.
The site contains detailed information about the PHRC, their mission, their editorial staff and contributors, and how to access and use materials on the site. It also includes a well-organized site map, and an index that, as of this writing, was still under construction.
PHRC's Web site is a newly invigorated and rapidly growing site, driven by a dedication to the organization's mission, an excellent editorial board, and a group of highly qualified contributors. Through good Web design and a pleasing aesthetic sensibility, PHRC's Web site makes it a pleasure to delve deep into its rich and growing trove of intellectual content.