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Mission

The Center for Texas Public History facilitates and conducts research in the field of public history, educates students at the graduate and continuing professional levels, and provides opportunities for local, community, and institutional partnerships in public history.


Background

Established in 2011, the Center for Texas Public History (CTPH) is housed in the Department of History and operates as an integral part of the commitment to public history practice and scholarship in the academic public history program. The center offers students the opportunity to explore career possibilities, to develop individual skills that build on classroom knowledge, to field test theories and methodologies, and to gain experience in areas such as planning, budgeting, grant writing, teamwork, resource management, and contract compliance. Dr. P. Lynn Denton serves as the center’s director and Mr. Dan K. Utley is the chief historian.

The work of the center is organized to meet the following goals:

  • Enhance career opportunities for students through service and practice
  • Support a positive learning environment that encourages diversity, creativity, innovation and teamwork
  • Collaborate with students, partners, donors and the university to contribute to our understanding of the past
  • Foster diverse partnerships with private and public sector institutions and organizations
  • Create a body of scholarly work for future scholars and planners
  • Maintain professional standards and best practices in our public history work

The center’s first two projects, conducted in cooperation with the National Park Service, resulted in significant studies related to the interpretation and preservation of sites associated with Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. Other significant projects reflect cooperative efforts with the Texas Historical Commission, Texas Historical Foundation, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Baylor University, Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture (New Braunfels), and several county historical commissions.

As part of an initiative to improve documentation of its rich heritage, Texas State University provides support for graduate research student assistance to conduct background research and to transcribe oral history interviews with a wide variety of individuals associated with its historical development. The resulting research, recordings, and transcripts are deposited in the University Archives as part of a unique collection of historical resources on institutional history.