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What Are the Different Historian Jobs?

Historians analyze or teach about history.
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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2014
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A historian is someone who studies and analyzes history, usually specializing in one particular time period. There are many different historian jobs at places ranging from museums and libraries and universities and government offices. Some historians prefer to do private research work instead of working for an organization, but this is generally impractical because of funding restraints. Historian jobs are incredibly important--often, the historian is in charge of presenting a view of history to other people. While the specific events may be impossible to alter, a historian has the power to present those events in a specific light based on his opinions or on the opinions of the organization he works for.

Historian jobs are as variable as they are important. Some historians work in settings such as libraries, archives, or museums. In general, such individuals are responsible for keeping exhibits informative and objectively accurate. Historians often have the freedom to pursue their own research work while working for such institutions. They may be called upon to speak at their institutions or at other institutions concerning their own work or concerning some aspect of history in general.

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Many historians choose to work at universities because they are afforded a great deal of time and freedom to pursue their own work. Often, they only need to teach a few classes per week and can pass some part of their workload down to graduate students. Universities, libraries, museums, and archives are all attractive choices for a historian looking for work because they are full of materials and resources that he can use in his work. Universities in particular are environments that are conducive to conducting individual research. This is especially true of those who are able to get tenured historian jobs.

Some historian jobs are offered by governments or social groups. Governments often value the proper understanding, presentation, and preservation of their histories. Historians are often involved in preserving historical sites and in analyzing and recording historical records. Social groups and historical societies hire historians for similar reasons. They are frequently involved in assessing and studying the historical value of certain areas and objects. The group as a whole may work with the government to ensure the preservation of historically important objects and locations.

Historian jobs are seldom highly paid, but they offer freedom and interesting work that many other jobs lack. Some historians travel the world seeking information for their research, while others pore over books that haven't been read in decades. For one interested in history, historian jobs open up a world of fascinating possibilities.

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