February 8, 2017
Bethany recently completed a year-long internship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Before Bethany’s internship ended, she gladly agreed to share some of the “secrets” of the History Unfolded article review process.
As an intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during spring and fall 2016, I had the privilege of working on the History Unfolded project. I worked on the Education Initiatives team and assisted with educational resources as well as the First Person program. I loved having the opportunity to help others understand why the history of the Holocaust is so important, especially for youth.
My Editing Life
My role with History Unfolded usually began after citizen historians submitted their research. Ever wonder what happens to the articles after they are submitted? Let me tell you!
First, I selected an article that is “Waiting to Be Approved.” Sometimes, History Unfolded’s awesome community manager Eric Schmalz had me work on certain “power users” (citizen historians who upload dozens of articles) or school groups that are submitting their research. Other times I simply started working on recent submissions.
To Approve or Not to Approve, That is the Question
After I selected an article, I looked for the name of the contributor. It was nice to know whose research I reviewed. Next, I checked the event they chose and saw if the date of their article matched with the dates on History Unfolded’s Events page. In order to have an accurate database for future use for scholars, the articles must be published within certain date ranges.
If that was correct, I continued on to verify that the information from the image of the article matched with what the citizen historian entered on their submission: date, page number, newspaper name, headline, etc. Then I read the article to double check that the content was relevant to our event. If all goes well, I happily marked the submission “Published.”
Sometimes a citizen historian submitted an article that grabbed my attention; when that happened, I sent it over to Eric and he made a note of it. Some of those attention-grabbing articles have been influential in the new exhibit for the Americans and the Holocaust Initiative, which will be opening in 2018. How cool?!
Sometimes a submission needed a few changes or a new image of the article submitted. I made comments for the citizen historian to let them know how they could go about getting their submission published.
And The Rest is Public History
History Unfolded has been a great way to connect my love of history with the public. As a Masters student in Public History, I’ve enjoyed helping others learn about some very interesting events in history pertaining to the Holocaust. Knowing that others find this project as fascinating as I do makes all of the work for History Unfolded worth it!