Professor of History




211 Dauphin Humanities Ctr.





Teaching & Research Interests

  • Public History
  • Archives, Museums, and Historic Preservation
  • U.S. Social and Political Movements
  • U.S. Social Welfare Policy (esp. Social Security)
  • Community History
  • Historical Research Methods
  • African-American History in Central PA
  • Cemetery Studies and Preservation


PhD (1999) United States History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA (1991) United States History, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA (1990) History, Colgate University


In 1999, I came to Shippensburg University as the History Department’s first Public Historian. Since 2002, I have served as the History Department’s Director of Graduate Studies and the Department’s graduate advisor. Over the last several years, I have worked together with the Shippensburg History faculty to develop our Applied History graduate program and undergraduate Public History concentration.  These programs are designed to prepare History students for careers in institutions such as museums, archives, and historical sites, and also to encourage all our students to see the important contributions historians can make throughout society. As a Public Historian, I strive to reach beyond the campus and mobilize the resources of the History Department and the university to serve the historical needs of our region.


I have also been fortunate to serve as the department’s Internship Coordinator, building partnerships with the extraordinary national, state, and local historical institutions in our region—including National Park Service sites (i.e.: Gettysburg National Military Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, C & O Canal National Historical Park, Antietam National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park), the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center in Carlisle, PA, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission sites in Harrisburg (i.e.: PA State Museum, PA State Archives, PA Bureau of Historic Preservation), as well as the many local and county historical societies.



Representative Publications


Steven B. Burg, “Shippensburg’s Locust Grove Cemetery: A Window on Two Centuries of Cumberland County’s African-American History.” Cumberland County History, vol.26 (2009).

“From Troubled Ground to Common Ground: The Locust Grove African American Cemetery Restoration Project: A Case Study of Service Learning and Community History.”  The Public Historian, vol. 30, no. 2 (May 2008): 51-82.

Steven B. Burg, editor, Black History of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania: 1860-1936.  (Shippensburg,  PA.: Shippensburg University Press, 2005).

Michael E. Stevens, ed.; Steven Burg, David Chang, and Reid Paul asst. eds., Yesterday's Future: The Twentieth Century Begins.  Voices of the Wisconsin Past Series. (Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1999).

Michael E. Stevens and Steven B. Burg, Editing Historical Documents: A Handbook of Practice. (Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 1997).

Steven B. Burg, “Wisconsin and the Great Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918.”Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 84, no.1, (Autumn 2000).



“Service-Learning in Action: Shippensburg University Students and the Shippensburg Civil War Trail,” (presented with David Maher), Presentation delivered at the American Association for State and Local History Annual Meeting 2009, August 29, 2009.

“So You’re Teaching in a Public History Program,” Developed and moderate a working group for university public history educators at the National Council for Public History Annual Meeting, Providence, Rhode Island, April 4, 2009.

“Ministers Between Two Worlds: Antebellum Circuit Riders on the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Fredericktown to Harrisburg Circuit.” Paper delivered at the Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, October 17, 2008.

“Getting the Community Involved in Your Preservation Project.” Invited Presenter, Cornelius O’Brien Historic Preservation & Indiana Main Street Conference, Bloomington, Indiana, October 16, 2008.

“The State of Public History Graduate Internships.” Presentation delivered at the National Council for Public History Annual Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky, April 12, 2008.

“From Troubled Ground to Common Ground: The Locust Grove African-American Cemetery Restoration Project,” National Council for Public History Annual Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 14, 2007.

Panel Chair, “Attempting Double Victory: The World of African American Domestic Workers in the Industrial North.” Panel delivered at the Oral History Association Annual Meeting.  Bethesda, Maryland, October 11, 2003.

“Teaching Public History Through Service-Learning.”  Poster session presented at the National Council on Public History 25th Annual Conference. Houston, Texas, April 26, 2003.

“Voices of Cumberland Valley Women During World War Two,” Cumberland County Historical Society, October 29, 2002.

 “Engaging Students with Applied History.” Paper delivered at the State System of Higher Education Annual Conference for the Advancement of College Teaching and Learning. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, March 22, 2002.

“Life History as Political Propaganda: The Biography and Autobiography of Dr. Francis Townsend and the Movement for Old Age Security in America.”  Paper delivered at the Texts of Testimony: Autobiography, Life Story Narratives and the Public Sphere Conference, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England, August 25, 2001.

"Art, Entertainment, and Protest: The Role of Movement Culture in Sustaining the Grassroots Townsend Movement."  Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association's Annual Meeting, Chicago, April 8, 1994.



Project Director (2006-2007) Locust Grove Cemetery Community Service Project.  A joint faculty-student research project that sought to research, document, and preserve Shippensburg’s historic African-American burial ground.  Working together with two student researchers, we photographed, transcribed, and mapped every extant tombstone in the cemetery, and then performed hands-on conservation work on twenty-five damaged tombstones. Received a grant of $6,550 from the State System of Higher Education to support this work.

Applied History Service-Learning Project (2003-2007) Locust Grove Cemetery Project. In cooperation with the Locust Grove Cemetery Committee, Shippensburg University Applied History students undertook research and developed projects designed to help document and preserve Shippensburg historic African-American cemetery. Research undertaken by students in my Research in Local and Regional History Class in the spring of 2004 was published as Steven B. Burg, ed., Black History of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, 1860-1936, (Shippensburg, PA: Shippensburg University Press, 2005).

Applied History Service-Learning Project (2006) Shippensburg Civil War Trail. As part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s effort to develop a Pennsylvania Civil War Trail, students in my Advanced Topics in Public History class developed both a walking tour of Civil War historic sites in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. I am currently working with the Chamber of Commerce and the Shippensburg Historical Society to make this a permanent self-guided walking tour through the installation of permanent interpretative exhibits in downtown Shippensburg.

Applied History Service-Learning Project (2005) Visiting the Past: The 20th Anniversary of the Shippensburg Historic District. In coordination with the Shippensburg Borough Historic Architecture Review Board and the Shippensburg Historical Society, students in my Advanced Topics in Public History class organized a day-long series of events, workshops, walking tours, and presentations designed to educate the public about the accomplishments of the Shippensburg Historic District in helping to preserve the community’s historic downtown.

Applied History Service-Learning Project (2002-2003) “An All-American Girl: Selection from the Wardrobe of Sheree A. Holler.” Working with the staff of the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives, students in my Advanced Topics in Public History class designed and installed an interpretive exhibit on clothing and culture in the 1960s and 1970s utilizing the clothing of Shippensburg student Sheree A. Holler.

Project Director (2002-2003) Cumberland County Women during World War Two Oral History Project. A joint faculty-student research project that conducted interviews with a dozen local women about their wartime experiences. The oral histories were then transcribed, annotated, and deposited in the permanent collections of the Cumberland County Historical Society. Received a grant of $4,929 from the Shippensburg University Professional Development Committee to fund this research.