Director, Public History Program
PhD - Johns Hopkins University
MA - Johns Hopkins University
BA - The University of Chicago
Public History and American Political Culture
Nancy K. Berlage grew up on a farm near Elizabeth, Illinois (current population 761). She began her career in public history as a docent at the Ulysses S. Grant Home in Galena, Illinois, during her high school and college summers.
Dr. Berlage earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins University. At Johns Hopkins, she studied under Dr. Louis Galambos, a leading economic and business historian and the originator of the “organizational synthesis” theory, which combines traditional historical analyses with currents of thought emanating from the social sciences. Dr. Berlage’s dissertation, The Farm and Home Bureau: Organization, Family, Community, and Professionals, 1914-1928, drew upon this foundational work. Dr. Berlage concluded her post-doctoral studies as Assistant Editor to The Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 2001.
During the intervening years prior to her joining the History Faculty of Texas State University in the Fall of 2012, she held a variety of positions in Public History. These included: Senior Historian at a private historical consulting firm, where among other tasks she performed research for law firms in support of major litigation and research and editing for federal government clients; Staff Editor and Project Manager for a government contracting firm providing editorial, managerial, and historical research services to the U.S. Army Center of Military History; Consultant, Editor, and Co-Writer for History of the National Eye Institute, 1968-2000, under a government contract won by her own private consulting firm with the National Institutes of Health; and Chief Editor and Senior Historian in the Historical Office of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she performed tasks such as advising the U.S. Congress on commemorative legislation, fact checking speeches for the President of the United States, co-authoring the official history on the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, and coordinating historical research for the Secretary’s Task Force which made recommendations to the President on the possible repeal of the “Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell” policy.
At Texas State University, Dr. Berlage hopes to inspire the next generation of students to choose a career that will help expand the public’s access to and understanding of history.
Dr. Berlage recently moved to San Marcos from the Washington, D.C., area with her husband Chris Dachi and her cats Itsy and Domino.