A historian is a person who researches, studies and writes about the past, and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is concerned with events preceding written history, the individual is a historian of prehistory. Although "historian" can be used to describe amateur and professional historians alike, it is reserved more recently for those who have acquiredgraduate degrees in the discipline. Some historians, though, are recognized by publications or training and experience."Historian" became a professional occupation in the late nineteenth century as research universities were emerging in Germany and elsewhere.
Historian Required Skills
• Historians possess intellectual and analytical skills; good interpersonal and presentation skills as these professionals have to convey their historical reports; have to undertake research and come out with relevant reports.
• They should possess critical thinking skills like using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
• Candidates also possess accurate, enquiring, patient and persistent; able to keep information private and able to make good judgements.
• They should be open-minded and have an awareness and understanding of a range of different cultures.
• Historians also needed to communicate both orally and in writing; skilled at interviewing; good at planning and organising.
• Gather historical data from various sources, including archives, books, and artifacts
• Analyze and interpret historical information to determine its authenticity and significance
• Trace historical developments in a particular field
• Engage with the public through educational programs and presentations
• Archive or preserve materials and artifacts in museums, visitor centers, and historic sites
• Provide advice or guidance on historical topics and preservation issues
• Write reports, articles, and books on findings and theories
Historians work in many places: universities, museums, archives, parks departments, planning offices, law offices, Indigenous communities …. and some people make a career out of writing history books. Others write history in their spare time, knowing that all historians serve society by creating and preserving our collective memory.
Here are some of the main activities that historians engage in during the course of their work:
• Pull together historical information from a wide variety of resources as discussed above. These include primary as well as secondary resources. This is only the first step in the historical research process, which includes additional steps of analysis described below.
• Analyze that information, firstly to discover it if it is authentic, and secondly, to determine what it means. Not all historical documents are valid. Among those that are, there are many factors which can influence the interpretation of the information. Not all historical sources are reliable. Every source teaches us something about the past, but it is the job of the historian to determine what the lesson is, based on cross-referencing with other materials.
• Part of this involves tracing the developments made by other historians who have been researching in the same subject area. Historians often work with each other to pool resources and draw conclusions. In many ways, studying history is like trying to piece together a puzzle with puzzle pieces scattered throughout time and space. Historians must work with one another to match their pieces in many cases.
• Educate the public. This does not necessarily mean in a teaching capacity at a school. Many historians spend their time working directly with members of the public who are interested in history. They may staff museums or historical sites, putting on presentations and giving talks. They may also travel to speak at universities or at historical societies. Historians who have strong communication skills provide a valuable function in society by helping to ignite an interest in history in others. Historians who work with the public also help to inform the public as to why it is so important to pursue a knowledge of history and preserve important documents, sites, and artifacts.
• Archive information and artifacts. Historians must not only discover information, but also make it accessible. To this end, many historians work in archives, storing information where it may be readily accessible to others who need to reference it. They may also curate artifacts and artworks in museums, visitor centers, and other sites. Preserving artifacts is a specialized area of history work which requires practical skills that you can only gain on the job. This is one area you may want to seek internship work in before you graduate for just this reason.
• Putting on exhibits. This is one special form of work with the public. Putting up exhibits is different than giving talks, since it requires hands-on work and presentation abilities in the visual medium. Look for internship work with exhibits as well.
• Write up reports on historical discoveries. Historians not only research existing documents, but also create documents of their own through their hard work. Many historians write novels about the past, as well as articles for historical journals. These books may be written for the public or for other professional historical researchers. They may share facts that they have uncovered as well as their own theories about their research and its implications about the past, present, and future.
• Conduct research on the behalf of others. Historians are sometimes contracted by other entities to conduct research. Individuals may contract with historians to delve into their genealogical roots. Historians may also work for government agencies, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
Over 70% of all historians wor in colleges or universities, and much of what these historians do involves teaching courses or serving some role in a history department. The work of historians at colleges and universities also greatly involves conducting research and writing articles and/or books. When it comes to writing, if they areprofessors, they will most likely be expected to author a book(s) about their specialty.
Those historians who do not work in colleges or universities may work as archivists, helping collect and preserve important historic documents, or in government agencies involved in helping to preserve buildings. They may also be consultants for the media (TV, radio, film, etc.) with the task of making sure all aspects of the show or film in question are historically accurate.
After passing their 12th class, candidates have to complete bachelor level education to obtain basic qualification for the post of Historian. The bachelor degree must be obtained from any of the reputed educational institutions with History as the main subject of study.
• Advance Certificate in Ancient Indian History
• B.A. (Ancient History)
• B.A. (History)
Here, educational qualification for these courses is 10th or 12th class History as one of the subjects.
Now-a-days Masters’ Degree or Ph.D. (in History) is preferred for the various positions. Those who have these educational qualifications can find job opportunities in research firms, public sector firms, museums, Universities, historical societies and so on. The candidate has to score relevant marks in the selection process carried out by the recruiter to get in to the post.
• M.A. (Ancient History)
• M.A. (History)
• M.Phil. (History and Archaeology)
• Ph.D. (Ancient History)
For post graduation courses, they must be graduate pass, for M.Phil. must have Masters’ Degree.
Institutes offering Courses for Historian
• Faculty of Social Sciences, Banasthali University, Tonk
• Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur
• Solapur University, Solapur
• Vikram University, Ujjain
The average salary of a Historian is ranging from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 per month. As they having experience and better work they can earn more than this. They are mostly employed in government sector for taking care of Historical things and their preservation.