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Date: February 6, 2009
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates Cofounder Philip L. Cantelon Profiled in Humanities

Philip L. Cantelon, History Associates cofounder and current chairman of the board and chief executive officer, was profiled in the January/February 2009 issue of  Humanities, the bimonthly magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The interview with now former NEH chairman Bruce Cole highlights Cantelon’s nearly three-decade career as both historian and entrepreneur.

“Historian for Hire: A Conversation with Phil Cantelon” explores Cantelon’s work to expand the employment opportunities of professional historians and the difficulty he faced in gaining acceptance by the broader academic community. Cantelon reinvented the concept of a practicing historian traditionally viewed as a career that could lead only to university teaching when he established History Associates in the summer of 1980. Cantelon, along with co-founders Rodney P. Carlisle, Richard G. Hewlett, and Robert C. Williams, believed that historians offered important skills and expertise to the business community. “Almost every profession in the academy has a division between teaching and doing,” says Cantelon. “You can teach law, or you can practice law. You can teach or practice medicine. But in history, you can only teach, or that’s what historians think. But that’s not really true. You can do work, you can practice history outside, you can apply history, and do excellent professional work.” For History Associates, the professional work now includes thousands of successful projects ranging from book-length histories and museum exhibits to litigation and archival and records management support.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Dr. Cantelon earned advanced degrees in history from the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Before co-founding History Associates, he taught history at Williams College and served as a Fulbright Professor of American Civilization in Japan.

To read the complete interview, go to

About History Associates
For more than thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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