The value of historical study is wide-ranging. It sharpens one’s abilities to read critically, interpret imaginatively, and write precisely. It also imparts understanding of a discipline that spans the science of human behavior in all its forms.

Training in history prepares students for jobs not only in schools and archives, but also in every field that calls for critical thought and the ability to gauge current prospects and choices from earlier developments. A number of distinguished academic historians began their careers as history majors at Colby, but the great majority of majors have gone on to varied professional and business careers, including journalism, law, marketing, and politics, as well as historical preservation, museum work, and media research.

Consistent with the liberal arts tradition, the history faculty offers exposure to diverse areas, eras, and methods. A history major’s program of 12 semester courses includes course work in European, American, and non-Western history, plus a research methods course to introduce the discipline of history. The history curriculum includes several large survey courses popular with both majors and non-majors, but classes ranging from 10 to 30 students are typical.

Contact Professor Raffael Scheck, chair, with questions regarding history at Colby ( The department secretary is Sherry Berard ( / 207-859-5320), and the History Department is located on the second floor of Miller Library.


HI241: History of Colby

Here’s a video of one of our courses, taught in Colby’s Special Collections archives.