College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Public History Projects

Public History students at the University of Northern Iowa participate in a number of public projects. Click on one of the links below to discover more.


FORTEPAN IOWA (FI) is a visual chronology of amateur photographs that provide a window into Iowa’s past funded by a Humanities Iowa grant and a UNI Capacity Building grant. Based on the Hungarian photo project FORTEPAN, FI collects the amateur photographs and stories of Iowans throughout the twentieth century. As a collaboration between public history, interactive digital studies students, and the photographic arts it is a vehicle for student training in public history and digital technologies. FI launched on March 25, 2015.


Museum Studies students often participate in crafting physical exhibitions with UNI Museums or online exhibitions in their introductory course. Interpreting Iowa is a study in the Hawkeye state’s landscape, history, and culture by museum studies students in Fall 2014. Home Grown revisited similar concepts in Black Hawk County in Spring 2017. 

Museums Studies students also built an online exhibition entitled My National Parks for the National Geographic Alliance of Iowa for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. 

Besides these online projects, UNI students have consulted with Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area to create a traveling exhibit that debuted at the Iowa State Fair in August 2015 and UNI Museums to develop an interpretive plan for the Marshall Center One-Room Schoolhouse here on campus.


Public history students have found internships at a variety of sites, including those listed below. 

  • African American Museum of Iowa
  • Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum
  • Backbone State Park
  • Calkins Nature Center
  • Cedar Falls Historical Society
  • Clive Historical Society
  • Douglas County Historical Society
  • Downers Grove Museum
  • Floyd County Historical Society
  • Fortepan Iowa Digital Project
  • Franklin County Auditors Office
  • Geographic Alliance of Iowa
  • The GeoTree Center
  • Gilbertson Nature Center
  • Granger House Victorian Museum
  • Grey Towers National Historic Site
  • Grout Museum District
  • Hancock County Historical Society
  • Hartman Reserve Nature Center
  • Heartland Museum
  • Hearst Center for the Arts
  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
  • Historic Forestville (Minnesota Historical Society)
  • Hudson Chamber of Commerce Railroad Depot
  • Iowa Children's Museum
  • Iowa Legal Aid Waterloo
  • Iowa Museum Association
  • John Deere Tractor and Engine Museum
  • Main Street Cedar Falls
  • Montgomery County Historical Society
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum
  • Parkersburg Historical Society
  • Pella Historical Society
  • Postville Oral History Project
  • Rural Schools Collections Project
  • Salisbury House and Gardens
  • Science Center of Iowa
  • Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area
  • State Historical Museum of Iowa
  • State Historical Society of Iowa
  • The Washington Center
  • Waterloo Center for the Arts
  • Webster County Historical Society
  • UNI College of Business
  • UNI Museums
  • UNI Special Collections and University Archives
  • UNI Office of Sustainability
  • Union Pacific Railroad Museum
  • US Army 88th Regional Support Command