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.


Digital History Training Sessions

The Guilbeau Center hosts training sessions for students and faculty. This month, UL History alum Zachary Henry will be leading students and faculty through an orientation in creating podcasts. Next month Vermilionville Living History Museum’s curator, Anne Mahoney, will provide a workshop on collections management software PastPerfect. In February, Dr. Brittany Cook offered introductions in ArcGIS for the department’s graduate students. We look forward to offering regular training sessions for the UL community every semester.


Representing Enslavement

Registration and more info at:

“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. The conference is hosted by the Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

For questions, contact Dr. Ian Beamish at

Vermilionville History Harvest

Students in Dr. Petrou’s public history course, “Heritage and Memory in History Museums” volunteered at Vermilionville’s Veteran’s Day History Harvest last month. 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.

What is a History Harvest?

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] Since its creation the UNL History Department has held a number of harvests with various communities across the state of Nebraska and many other history departments and museums across the country have adopted UNL’s methods.   


A History Harvest is designed to connect museum professionals and historians with their communities local history by inviting the public to share their personal artifacts that may have until this point been “hidden” in their homes/attics but still hold historical significance. These artifacts may include letters, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, documents, art, textiles, three-dimensional objects, etc. according to the topic of the History Harvest. The goal is to document, collect information on, and digitize each of these artifacts to create an online collection that can later be used for further historical interpretation and public access. In the case of this History Harvest, the scans/photographs and information collected about each object will be added to the Louisiana Digital Library.

[1] Jones, Patrick. “History Harvest” (syllabus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, 2012), Accessed on April 6, 2018, 


If you are looking for internship opportunities in public history check out American Alliance of Museums website:


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. 


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. 


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! 


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 (