The Guilbeau Center for Public History is an unparalleled research center dedicated to the study and practice of Public History. As a state and regional leader for public history, its projects receive national attention for their originality and contribution to the field.

The Guilbeau Center for Public History is housed in the Department of History, Geography & Philosophy at University of Louisiana, Lafayette. It is one of four research centers at the University’s College of Liberal Arts.

 

Current News and Events

The Guilbeau Center is hosting a series of workshops this fall that is open to all University of Louisiana at Lafayette students and our community for free. We want you to get the best use of out equipment possible so we have five workshops for you to choose from.

Spaces are limited so we request that you reserve your spot by clicking the title of the workshop you wish to attend below. We are so looking forward to learning together.


Podcast Workshop

September 19 Griffin Hall 512 6:30pm-8:00pm: This how-to workshop will focus on how to create a podcast and utilize our podcast room. In this workshop you will learn how to record with industry quality equipment and learn to edit your recordings on Logic Pro X, software used widely by audio engineers. Workshop will be ran by UL History Alumni Zach Henry of ZAH Productions.

Podcast Workshop

September 26 Griffin Hall 512 6:30pm-8:00pm: Can’t make it to our first podcast workshop? Here is your second date option to attend our event. Workshop will be ran by UL History Alumni Zach Henry of ZAH Productions.

Collections Management Workshop (Beginner)

October 23 Griffin Hall 518 12:00pm-1:00pm: This how-to workshop is aimed at beginners wanting to learn a little on Collections Management and how to use Past Perfect, a database program used in museums nationally for collections management. Workshop will be ran by Maegan Smith and Anne Mahoney of Vermillionville Living History Museum.

Collections Management Workshop (Intermediate)

October 30 Griffin Hall 518 12:00pm-1:00pm: This how-to workshop is for those who already have a jump start on collections management and want to explore more advanced uses of Past Perfect. Workshop will be ran by Maegan Smith and Anne Mahoney of Vermillionville Living History Museum.

Map Making Workshop (Beginner)

November 6 Griffin Hall 518 12:00pm-1:00pm: This how-to workshop is for beginners unfamiliar with ArcGIS, a wonderful map making software that our center offers. Workshop will be ran by Dr. Brittany Cook, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


PROJECTS

Digital History Training Sessions

The Guilbeau Center hosts training sessions for students and faculty. Each semester we offer sessions open to the public:

  • Audio engineer and UL History alum, Zachary Henry, leads students and faculty through an orientation in creating podcasts.

  • Vermilionville Living History Museum’s curator, Anne Mahoney, and Collections Manager, Maegan Smith, provide beginners and advanced workshops on collections management software PastPerfect.

  • Dr. Brittany Cook offers beginners and intermediate workshops in ArcGIS

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History Set in Plastic: A 3D Walk through the Ancient World

For their final project, students in History 101: A History of World Societies, students 3-D printed historical artifacts from the history of science, technology, engineering, or medicine from the early history of humankind up to 1453 CE.

Vermilionville Living History Museum and the Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette announces Resistance through Persistence: Enslaved Women and Culture in Louisiana. The exhibit opened Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Vermilionville and then traveled to the Guilbeau Center for Public History, where it will be on display Sept 1 - Dec 10, 2019. Curated by undergraduate and graduate students as part of UL’s public history program, the exhibit foregrounds enslaved women’s experiences in Louisiana and in the area that is today Lafayette.  “Resistance through Persistence” emphasizes the many ways that enslaved women found to build culture despite the oppressive institutions supporting slavery. Too often resistance only includes rebellions and uprisings. This exhibit shows how enslaved women pushed back and resisted slavery on a daily basis.

Vermilionville Living History Museum and the Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette announces Resistance through Persistence: Enslaved Women and Culture in Louisiana. The exhibit opened Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Vermilionville and then traveled to the Guilbeau Center for Public History, where it will be on display Sept 1 - Dec 10, 2019. Curated by undergraduate and graduate students as part of UL’s public history program, the exhibit foregrounds enslaved women’s experiences in Louisiana and in the area that is today Lafayette.

“Resistance through Persistence” emphasizes the many ways that enslaved women found to build culture despite the oppressive institutions supporting slavery. Too often resistance only includes rebellions and uprisings. This exhibit shows how enslaved women pushed back and resisted slavery on a daily basis.

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Representing Enslavement

“Representing Enslavement” is a short conference designed to bring together experts and practitioners in the public history of enslavement in Louisiana. Too often the deep history of enslavement in this region is twisted or erased in service of comfort and tourist dollars. The conference seeks to foreground the perspective of artists, museum professionals, academic historians, public historians, and organizers to make this history present in Lafayette and broader Acadiana. We hope to push for lasting changes in the way Louisianan’s represent the history of enslavement in the region and across the state.

https://representingenslavement.com/program

History Harvests

Several of our history courses offer students the opportunity to put history to work in the community through history harvests. The concept of History Harvests started as an undergraduate history project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln about 10 years ago.

The students and professors at UNL wanted to create a program that was “…a collaborative effort aimed at uncovering, collecting, preserving, archiving, and sharing some of the many “hidden” historical treasures located right here in our own communities.”[1]

Faculty at UL Lafayette, including Thomas Cauvin, Marissa Petrou and Liz Skilton, use the history harvest format to produce community sourced histories of Acadians, World War 2, traditional healing practices and natural disasters. Current history harvest projects include Oral Histories of Folk Medicine and Memories of Hurricane Harvey. The Guilbeau Center is also collaborating with School of Architecture and Design on oral histories of the Green Book in Louisiana.

History Harvests are also an excellent pedagogical tool for students of Public History. For example, students in Dr. Petrou’s public history course, “Heritage and Memory in History Museums” volunteered at Vermilionville’s Veteran’s Day History Harvest. Students were trained in marketing and outreach; photographing and scanning historical artifacts, inventorying historical artifacts, and interviewing the local communities members who generously brought their historical artifacts to share with the museums.

[1] Jones, Patrick. “History Harvest” (syllabus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 2012), Accessed on April 6, 2018, http://historyharvest.unl.edu/themes/harvest/resources/hh_syllabus_2012fall.pdf 

 MUSEUM ON THE MOVE

Museum on the Move is a student-driven, Public History project wrapped within an exhibit and design class. Students research historical content and then formulate a plan into building an exhibit based on the latest museum and exhibit-building techniques. In designing these new exhibits, the students gain hands on experience in curatorial issues and exhibition. They are able to gauge out what interests them in the different areas of museum and exhibit work. From the many challenges of research, to label writing, to picking out colors, finding objects, creating visuals, the installation and social media outreach, students have their hands full in completing everything by the semester’s end. And the biggest challenge of all is displaying it within a vintage Airstream trailer! 

The Museum on the Move is a mobile exhibit that travels around the state of Louisiana. It’s exhibits so far have focused on Louisiana history in order to educate the general public on subjects they know of but not enough of about. We have done Women in Louisiana (Crossing the Line: Louisiana Women in a Century of Change), the Oil Industry in Louisiana (Drill Baby Drill) and currently traditions of Mardi Gras (Unmasking Traditions: Mardi Gras in Louisiana). The exhibits so far have gone to farmer markets, public libraries, schools and festivals within the state. Feedback has been positive and visitors have enjoyed these insights to the state’s history. 

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The Process

Over winter or summer break before the class opens, the students or professors are tasked with deciding on the subject for the exhibit. Once the class has started, the topic is narrowed down and groups are made with the instructions of who researches what. Second groups are then made on the tasks they shall be doing in regards to the creation and installation of the exhibit. All the while, consulting textbooks of exhibit design, labels, and curation, the students are preparing for the next steps. The teams for picking the colors and overall design, an interpretation for the labels, a social media in spreading the upcoming exhibit, and installation begin working. Of course not always do the students have to stick with their second groupings as this helps with everyone being able to dabble in each area. 

Results 

Students and the internet audiences can gain an understanding to the work put into creating an exhibit. It’s not just writing something and sticking up it up on a wall or in a case. There’s the aspect of research, funding, the interlocking parts of designing, how to correctly display objects, the tone used and word count of labels, and the man power of installing. Museum on the Move is an excellent way to allow students to experience the wonders and woes of exhibit design! 

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Museum on the Move wants to visit You!

Our mobile museum, currently exhibiting the history of Mardi Gras, looks forward to traveling to your home town, festival, park etc. Contact Tori or Rachel for more info (rachel.blomquist1@louisiana.edu)

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