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About the Project


The Museums MA project is the culmination of a two semester-long digital humanities seminar at Northeastern University, created by a public history graduate student. The site is designed for high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and early career professionals who are interested in working as public historians in small to midsize history museums, art museums, historical societies, and archives in Massachusetts.

The project is scoped to include resources for those early career professionals seeking employment or schooling in Massachusetts as there are relatively few resources available to serve/support this demographic. However, while the graduate programs collection contains programs from Massachusetts colleges and universities, the remainder of the resources will be useful for anyone looking to learn more about the fields of public history and museum studies. This project also acts as a template for anyone looking to explore graduate programs and opportunities outside of Massachusetts, by serving as a community space where users can browse tags, search terms, and topics to use within their own explorations of public history opportunities.

The project is similarly scoped for small to midsize museums, as many (though not all) students and early career professionals find opportunities in smaller organizations before transitioning to larger organizations.1

Mission Statement

The mission of the Museums MA project is to combat public inaccessibility surrounding entry to the museum and public history professions by providing transparency on the state of the field via informational interviews, as well as resources and tools for emerging career professionals that will be useful in navigating the job market.

Methods for Collecting Resources

The primary method for this project was hand selecting a variety of resources that will be helpful for emerging career professionals in their graduate program or employment search. Resources were derived from:

  • Previous internships, jobs, and other experiences that were recommended by professionals
  • Social media (LinkedIn)
  • Internet browser searches (to ensure open access and accessibility)

Each resource or tool was included in an Omeka collection as an item, with accompanying Dublin Core metadata and controlled vocabulary tags. For determining the categories of tags, I read through each resource and picked out the recurring themes and topics, and located them within the 44th edition of the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Methods for Conducting Interviews

The first step for conducting informational interviews involved generating questions to ask interviewees. This involved researching common interview questions via Internet searches and selecting the most common questions. 

I utilized my professional network to select interviewees, making sure to include a sample of professionals with varying museum and public history careers. 

I then recorded the interview sessions on my iphone, or over Zoom if the interview was conducted remotely. I utilized the “transcribe” feature within the “voice” section of Microsoft Word to transcribe the recordings and edited them by hand to fix any mistakes. I subsequently saved the transcripts as portable document files (PDFs) using Microsoft Word, to ensure they are openable/usable across devices, and uploaded them to the Omeka site. 

Please see the Informational Interviews with Museum Professionals collection for a comprehensive list of interview questions and information for each interview.

1.) Aimee Newell, “The Value of Small Museum Experience, or Why I Don’t Have a ‘Better’ Job,” AASLH, August 30, 2018, https://aaslh.org/the-value-of-small-museum-experience-or-why-i-dont-have-a-better-job/