Commissioning History

A history is a way of sharing the story of your community group, government department, school, church, union, community organisation, family or area with the wider community.

PHA (WA) and the Professional Historians Australia (PHA) advocate the engagement of people for history projects whose qualifications and experience meet the National Accreditation Standard established by PHA.

Professionally qualified historians bring a broad historical knowledge, strong research skills, an independent outlook and effective writing skills to a history project.  Trained historians have the skills and experience to identify, collect and interpret research materials, conduct oral histories, research pictorial collections and other media, and produce an engaging and lively end product which locates your story in a wider historical context.

The outcome of a commissioned history could lead to a book or a booklet being prepared by a professional historian. For some projects other outcomes may be recommended such as a collection of oral histories, an exhibition, a radio program, or even a website or CD-ROM.

HOW TO FIND A PROFESSIONAL HISTORIAN

There are a number of ways that PHA (WA) can assist you with finding the right professional historian for your project:

Our Register of Consultants lists our members who are available for work.

Free advertising in PHA (WA)’s eNewsletter.  Contact Newsletter Editor.

Free advertisement to the members of PHA (WA) via email.  Contact Convenor of the Commissioned History Sub-Committee.

ASSISTANCE TO COMMISSIONING BODIES

From time to time outside individuals, for example businesses, local government authorities, schools to sporting groups, will request assistance from PHA (WA) about starting on a history project.

In these instances, enquiries should be directed to either the President or the Convenor of the Commissioned History Sub-Committee.

In addition, PHA (WA) has prepared a set of guidelines for the benefit of potential clients.

These are useful, if not essential, for people who are planning to engage a consultant historian.

They outline the issues that need to be considered before work starts on a history project; that is, finding the appropriate person, defining the work, the scope of the manuscript, responsibilities of the commissioning body and the historian, project time and costs, historians’ credentials and fees, framing an advertisement, the contract, management of the project, and copyright/ownership of any associated working papers.

Commissioning History: A practical guide to engaging consultant historians can be downloaded for free here.

PHA (WA) can also arrange for a consulting historian to advise on project development and to assist a committee responsible for selecting a historian.

For this service, the consulting historian would require a meeting fee plus reimbursement for any travel or other reasonable expenses.  For further information contact the Convenor of the Commissioned History Sub-Committee.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

PHA has devised a National Standard and Scale of Fees recommended for professional historians as well as a Model Contract for use by both members and clients.