ThumbJ. Michael Bunn writes of the challenges involved in training public historians in a traditional academic setting.

He says that it is critical that current public historians closely examine what they do and the range of source materials they work with in order to form a realistic list of required skills for those being trained in the university setting.

The project, A Life in Letters: Lt. Col. Robert A. Hardaway in the Civil War and the New South, was inspired by a collection of hundreds of letters, documents, and journals.

The author relates this project to his realization of the need for a more comprehensive understanding of the place of public history scholarship in the history profession.