AASLH partnered with the National Council on Public History (NCPH) to issue a first-of-its-kind report on the prevalence of gender discrimination and sexual harassment in history organizations in the United States. The report is based on a year-long survey about gender discrimination and sexual harassment in public history organizations. AASLH and NCPH contracted with Oberg Research to analyze the survey results and write the report.
“History in Our Parks: Results from a National Survey of Practitioners” is the first report that is known to provide insight into the budget, staffing, and workplace experiences of the thousands of practitioners working at history organizations that are part of state, county, and municipal park systems.
In the winter of 2020-2021, the AASLH History in Our Parks Task Force conducted a survey of 265 individuals doing history work at public parks agencies across the country. The primary goal of this research effort was to understand how historic sites are operated by parks agencies and the challenges faced by those working within those agencies.
In response to frequent questions from across the field about how to make the partnerships between history organizations and friends groups more successful, AASLH’s Standards and Ethics Committee conducted a brief survey in the summer of 2021 to understand how both history organizations and friends groups perceived the benefits and challenges of working together. Taking direction from that survey, the committee—with support from the AASLH Public History Research Lab and the State Historical Administrators Meeting—put together this guide to support better partnerships, whether newly established or long-standing.
The 2022 National Census of History Organizations is a first-of-its-kind effort to research the size and scope of the history community in the United States. Funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the “History Census” represents the first national effort to produce a high-quality, up-to-date, comprehensive list of the country’s thousands of history museums, historical societies, and related organizations. This initiative identified 21,588 history organizations in the United States, a number we are confident represents a floor rather than a ceiling. Through our analysis of this data, we have been able to identify some of the fundamental characteristics of our field, assess major strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas for improved practice and further research. Learn more about the project here.
Since 2019, AASLH has conducted annually a national survey of in-person visitation trends at United States historical organizations. The National Visitation Report provides data about attendance at historical organizations of all types and sizes, enabling us to more confidently assess Americans’ engagement with U.S. history museums, sites, and other institutions. The Report highlights year-to-year visitation trends, helping us understand more clearly if visitation is going up or down (and by how much) at institutions of different budget sizes, organizational structures, functions, and in different regions of the country. Each year’s report shares visitation information for the previous year.
Funded by the Mellon Foundation and carried out in partnership with the FrameWorks Institute, National Council on Public History, and Organization of American Historians, Reframing History is the result of a two-year, deep-dive research effort to understand how Americans think about history and how our field can more effectively explain history’s value. The recommendations from this project are designed to help historians, educators, museum professionals, and history advocates to be able to more cohesively and convincingly communicate about history to build a wider understanding of what inclusive history looks like and why it is important for all of us. Learn more about the project here.
Each year since 2018, AASLH has published an annual report to update the field on the status of planning for the U.S. 250th anniversary in 2026. These reports are intended to provide a broad overview for practitioners and institutions who want to get quickly up to speed on the status of national and state planning efforts and the opportunities for action. You can find additional information about the Semiquincentennial here.