Vol 25 (2018)

Welcome to volume 25 of Public History Review. Recently the long-term impact of the journal has been recognised by the republication, starting from this year, of key articles in a new Chinese journal, Public History: A National Journal on Public History, published by Zhejing University Press.


Vol 24 (2017)

Welcome to volume 24 of Public History Review which contains articles on public history in India and South Africa.


Vol 23 (2016)

Edited by Associate Professor Tracy Ireland and Professor Jane Lydon, this special issue of Public History Review considers how places, landscapes, remains and objects – in the past and in the present – produce identity and memory.


Vol 22 (2015)

This issue of Public History Review introduces a new section: Public History Education. It is edited by Professor Na Li and is entitled 'Teaching Public History Through International Collaborations'.


Vol 21 (2014)

Welcome to volume 21 of Public History Review which features a special section on public history and archives, memory and place edited by Mary Hutchison and Joanna Sassoon. Next year we are planning to publish two special issues: one on public history and heritage, to be edited by Tracy Ireland and Jane Lydon, and one on the emergence of public history in China, which will be edited by Na Li.


Vol 20 (2013)

Welcome to volume 20 of Public History Review. This issue marks the journal's twenty-first year of publication. We look forward to your continued contributions and support.


Vol 19 (2012)

Welcome to volume 19 of the journal which has a special section on public history in Indonesia edited by Paul Ashton and Kresno Brahmantyo. It is based on a selection of papers presented at an International Seminar on Public History, run jointly by the Department of History in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Indonesia, and the Australian Centre for Public History at the University Technology, Sydney at FIB-UI Campus, Depok, Indonesia, from 26-27 September 2012. Additional articles will be published into this section in the future as well as translations in Bahasa.


Vol 18 (2011)

Welcome to a special issue of Public History Review which has been edited by Hilda Kean and Paul Ashton.


Vol 17 (2010)

This issue of Public History Review is based on a number of the papers presented at an international colloquia, 'New Directions in Public History', which was held at the University of Technology, Sydney in September 2010. (More of the papers will be published in a future edition of the journal.) The volume was edited by Paul Ashton and Louisa Di Bartolomeo.



Vol 15 (2008)

This special issue of Public History Review – 'Places of the Heart: Memorials in Australia' – grew out of a colloquium around an Australian Research Council funded project ‘Places of the Heart: Post 1960 non-war memorials in Australia’. Held by the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology, Sydney in November 2006, the colloquium brought together academics, public historians and professionals working in cultural institutions and agencies. The latter included the City of Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Environment and Conservation, the NSW Heritage Office, the then National Parks and Wildlife Service, the State Library of NSW and the NSW Premier’s Department. Participants included Associate Professor Paul Ashton, Dr Bronwyn Batten, Professor Rae Frances, Ms Patricia Hale, Dr Bronywn Hanna, Associate Professor Paula Hamilton, Dr Wayne Johnson, Dr Lisa Murray, Professor Peter Read, Professor Bruce Scates, Ms Sharon Veale, Dr Sue-Anne Ware, Mr Alexander Weilsmann and Ms Katie Wislon.

War memorials have captured both the popular imagination for generations and the attention of academic and other observers. Collectively they are a striking feature of the Australian landscape. Non-war memorials have also proliferated, especially in recent decades. But the study of them has been slow to develop. Significant work on these types of memorials – ranging from traditional forms to roadside memorials, public art and graffiti – commenced in the 1980s. The field, however, has not attracted sustained attention. This is reflected in a number of ways including their general absence on official heritage listings which are dominated by memorials to wars and organised religion. Further, most memorial studies provide little historical context to memorials or to how their meanings can change over time. There is more than a history of memorials as objects; there is a history of memory and commemoration and of evolving meaning. These contexts are critical to understanding the cultural significance of memorials. The articles presented in this volume explore these contexts from a range of perspectives.

We would like here to acknowledge Dr Rose Searby's contribution to the publication of this volume.

Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton


Vol 14 (2007)

Welcome to the third electronic publication of Public History Review. With articles and reviews dealing with countries including Australia, Britain, Cuba, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States, this volume reflects in part the growing internationalisation of public history. Public history is also an emerging field in a number of countries, notably Britain. We look forward to continued international engagements.

Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton


Vol 13 (2006)

Welcome to the second electronic volume of Public History Review entitled ‘Conflicted Heritage’. Edited by Dr Alexander Trapeznik, this special issue emerged from an international symposium held at Otago University in mid 2005 which addressed conflict in cultural heritage and its management. We look forward to publishing more special issues on public history related themes in the future.

Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton

Vol 12 (2006)

Editorial Welcome

Welcome to the first electronic volume of Public History Review (PHR). PHR has been published annually since 1992. In that year, we hoped in the editorial that:

Public History Review functions, metaphorically speaking, at the point where all rivers meet; that is, it provides firstly a forum for historians working in heritage, government departments, radio, television, schools, museums, freelance and any other area of the culture, who wish to pursue some issues relating to their work in greater depth, reflect on some issue of practice, comment on other historical representations or extend our knowledge of public history as a field of study. Secondly we welcome contributions from others such as conservation architects, archaeologists and… [others] who wish to comment on history-related matters. And finally we aim to engage academic historians more fully with the concerns of the public, and public history work; to inform and challenge, to articulate the creative tensions between theory and practice.’

The field of public history has grown and diversified over the last thirty years. In Australia there are now as many, if not more, public or freelance historians than academic historians. Institutionally, in the USA, the field, which has been established there longer than elsewhere, has been recognised in a number of ways including the establishment of the National Council on Public History in 1979. Public history is also on the rise in the UK, though it has been present in the culture for decades under other guises. The first international public history conference in Britain was held in September 2005 at Ruskin College, Oxford, where eminent ‘public’ historian Raphael Samuel taught for most of his life.

Over the years that we have been editing PHR new technologies have emerged for the communication of historical work. We have chosen to join the digital revolution in this format to facilitate the global exchange of ideas. In the last decades of the twentieth century history has become more democratic and this has been reflected in and encouraged by the public history movement.

Public history is flourishing in and across countries and cultures in various modes. This is apparent in the number and diversity of popular, accessible historical activities and productions located outside the academy. History is on the airwaves, the internet, on film and television, in newspapers and in classrooms; it is represented in museums and public rituals. The past is actively pursued in the present by a range of people and groups, such as family and local history societies, for a variety of purposes. Social movements represent themselves historically for political legitimacy. These and other developments have led to an academic interest in historical consciousness. Public history can also be linked to the rise of the nation state. The past, indeed, has always had many uses in the present.

Public history is a broad field. It also has a particular concern with audience. We look forward to furthering the journal’s original aims and objectives.

Paul Ashton and Paula Hamilton