Jessica Knapp is a public historian working as a consultant in the heritage sector. She has a longtime interest in communicating history with the public, predominately through digital media, print publications, and public presentations.
After receiving her Master of Arts degree in public history at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Knapp started working with Canada’s National History Society in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Through her work with the Society, Knapp developed her specializations in digital communications, audience development, collaboration and project management.
Her commitment to the field of public history has grown on an international level in her role as co-chair of the Professional Development Committee for the National Council on Public History.
Knapp is dedicated to helping the Canadian public better understand the history, heritage, and cultural significance of communities throughout Canada. She is currently working from Montreal, Quebec and is eager to work with public and oral historians, museum and archival professionals, and folks who are interested in demonstrating the relevance of history in Canada.
Oral History and Journalism
A growing interest of Knapp is the relationship between oral history and journalism, specifically looking at training, approach, and ethics used in these spaces, as well as the materials that are produced by these professionals.
Over the last four years, she has conducted many oral and video interviews with the intention of creating different types of media to popularize and promote the person, project, or history featured in the interview.
As a public historian working alongside journalists in a content driven environment, she believes it was her theoretical knowledge of and practical training in oral history that differentiated her work from others. She found that the interviewees and her were able to create space for relationship building, knowledge sharing, and collaboration.
She would like to continue exploring how journalists and oral historians can support each other in creating more ethical, responsible, and accessible materials for Canadians.