What Do Historians Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Historians research, analyze, record, and interpret the past as recorded in sources, such as government and institutional records, newspapers and other periodicals, photographs, interviews, films, electronic media, and unpublished manuscripts, such as personal diaries and letters. They also conserve and preserve manuscripts, records, and other artifacts.

Other tasks include:

  • Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals.
  • Conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials.
  • Research and prepare manuscripts in support of public programming and the development of exhibits at historic sites, museums, libraries, and archives.
  • Present historical accounts in terms of individuals or social, ethnic, political, economic, or geographic groupings.
  • Organize data, and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance.
  • Research the history of a particular country or region, or of a specific time period.

We asked Historians how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

77%

How meaningful is this job

63%


77% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 63% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Historians conserve and preserve manuscripts, records, and other artifacts. They conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials.

A typical day for a Historian will also include:

  • Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals.
  • Organize data, and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance.
  • Conduct historical research, and publish or present findings and theories.
  • Coordinate activities of workers engaged in cataloging and filing materials.
  • Research the history of a particular country or region, or of a specific time period.

We asked some Historians a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?42% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?31% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?56% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?39% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?6% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Historians also trace historical development in a particular field, such as social, cultural, political, or diplomatic history. They may also determine which topics to research, or pursue research topics specified by clients or employers.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Historians Coordinate activities of workers engaged in cataloging and filing materials. They might also Research and prepare manuscripts in support of public programming and the development of exhibits at historic sites, museums, libraries, and archives.

In addition, they Organize information for publication and for other means of dissemination, such as use in CD-ROMs or Internet sites.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals.

To some Historians, it is also their responsibility to Research the history of a particular country or region, or of a specific time period.


Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Historian, you can expect to work less than 40 hours per week.

Do Historians work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
73%


Once a year
11%


Do Historians work outdoors?

Once a year
52%


Never
19%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Organizers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Historians

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Related to Historians Job Description

Historians job description, what do Historians do, typical day for Historians, what is it like to work as a Historian, how many hours do Historians work, day to day work of a Historian

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm
http://www.historians.org/
http://www.oah.org/
http://www.aaslh.org/


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