Historians in Business


I have to come to see that historians play an incredibly important role in both the field of history as well as in the world of business. After reading the online source, “Historians as Consultants and Contractors” by the American Historical Association (AHA) on the website www.historians.org, I can imagine the idea that historians can serve our country best as consultants or even contractors in the ever-growing community of business and trade.  Expertise in navigating the bidding process and the requirements of Section 106 are essential for professional contractors.  Few individuals in business such as corporate executives or Chief Executive Officers have knowledge of the field of history, and I believe that those who conduct big business can benefit from people who have spent their lives studying past events and historic figures, and that knowledge can aid individuals in the modern age, such as the business deeds of the tycoons who lived during the Gilded Age. Historians even find their services needed in movies, such as documentaries, dramas, and even programs like edutainment; entertainment media designed for educating the viewers, with the digital age becoming a huge resource for research and project development.

I found Tyler Rudd Putman’s article in http://chronicle.com to be quite entertaining honest and informative about the challenges of finding work post-Master’s.  Putman’s story about how he spent ten years of his life making clothes for museums and other historical institutions while looking for other work showed his resourcefulness and dedication.  Putman is a true academic in that despite his education and experience continues to study and learn. I can appreciate his challenge in finding a “real job” that left him in a situation of falling “back on what [he] knew,” which was sewing historical garments for museums and reeenactors. That passage sent a message about how difficult it is for historians to find work and is an excellent example of how we need to be creative. Putman said that today most specialists in the fields of professional work are mostly “self-taught.” I feel that should be applauded as an inspiration for the next generation of experts in all fields, including history. Putman took to heart what he did for a living while looking for a position in the field of history, and became a tailor, in which he could hand sew a garment to look like it came from a certain historical period. In my opinion, I would say that Putman’s activities as a historical tailor can provide an experience to the public about history, about perseverance and about utilizing the research and education skills of historians.

TAG Historical Research is a company I explored as they do historical research for several clients such as cities and other government entities, historical preservation committees, as well as individuals.  Their background in historic research and work is impressive and their expertise in Section 106 documentation has been very beneficial for their clients.  TAG Research has completed a “National of Register of Historic Places nominations for individual buildings and historic districts.” Their staff is predominantly women and they have been in business since 1993.  One of the interesting services that TAG Research provides is the development and implementation of tours.  Another interesting service is researching and providing the historical information for particular homeowners. With Boise having so many well-preserved homes dating back to the 1800’s, as well as historic commercial buildings such as the Central Fire Station, there is a wealth of history in Boise.

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