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What does a Historian do?

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Answered August 11 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Understanding a Historian's daily activities starts with prior knowledge and experience with academics and what it takes to conduct research and historical investigations. They will spend a great deal of their day analyzing and interpreting historical events and facts, so an academic background is vital in this profession.  
Conducting research is no easy feat either. It requires documenting historical facts, organizing records, and interviewing experts to collect information. At times, it could require an in-person visit to an important historical site, as research records and other writings can only do so much to describe the actual presence and history of a place.   
Liaising with museums and other locations to provide advice on historical events can also make up a significant part of a Historian's role. Coordinating a group of Historians to distribute research duties, for instance, and providing insights about exhibits are just some examples.  
Suppose a Historian has also chosen to break into a position at a university. In that case, their role will be made up of daily teaching tasks with the help of teaching assistants – so daily lectures, grading papers, and course planning.  

Roles and responsibilities of a Historian
If you were wondering what you'll be doing as a Historian, here's a non-exhaustive list of everyday tasks that Historians are required to complete.   
  • Conducting historical research to identify, analyze, and interpret past events.   
  • Collecting historical data from reliable sources (e.g., records, diaries, news files, and photographs) to be analyzed and interpreted).  
  • Organizing data and validating its authenticity and significance.  
  • Researching historical events of a particular country or region or a specific time.   
  • Tracing historical development in a specific field (e.g., social, cultural, political, or diplomatic).   
  • Conserving and preserving manuscripts, records, and other artifacts for further study.   
  • Presenting historical accounts and findings in the form of published papers, books, and conferences.   
  • Liaising with museums and other historical sites and locations to provide advice and recommendations regarding historical conservation and the significance of artifacts, sites, and monuments.   
  • Consulting and collaborating with groups, organizations, museums, and foundations to promote historical preservation and activities.   
  • Preparing and reviewing publications and exhibits in museums to ensure historical accuracy.   
  • Determining which historical period to research from and follow as specified by clients or employers.   
  • Advising individuals and institutions regarding the historical authenticity of artifacts, materials, traditions, and records.   
  • Coordinating activities of workers in charge of cataloging and filing records.   
  • Translating or requesting a translation of records when necessary.   
  • Editing historical publications and exhibits.   
  • Collecting detailed information from reliable sources on individuals to write biographies.   
  • Interviewing people to gather information about life events of individuals.  
  • Documenting and organizing information for publications in the form of books or documentaries.