Houston history magazine passes to UH

The UH Center for Public History now owns Houston History Magazine. It was first owned by the Houston Metropolitan Research Center and was published for 20 years before UH’s first issue came out in 2003.

The Houston Metropolitan Research Center was having monetary issues and they had other priorities when it came to funding.

“We didn’t want the magazine to go out of business,” said Joseph Pratt, editor of the magazine and professor of history and business. “So, we changed the format and digitized it.”

The magazine is published three times a year and features Houston’s history.

“Most of the articles focus on the history of the Houston metropolitan area,” Pratt said. “But we have had contributions about the history of Galveston and Beaumont and other surrounding communities.”

It has a mixture of articles, interviews and photographs. Academic historians wrote some recent issues and numerous articles were on the desegregation of Houston, said Pratt. Some of the writers have no formal training, but have a big interest in history.

Writers for the magazine consist of grad students from UH and other universities.

“The magazine staff is made up of students in the UH graduate program in public history,” said Pratt.

One history graduate student is very thrilled to be working for the magazine.

“Working for the magazine is a fabulous experience,” said Debbie Harwell. “The opportunity to meet truly interesting people from politicians to entertainers to ordinary citizens who contributed to the area’s history offers an amazing insight to the community.”

There will be an undergraduate course this fall for students that will embody some part of the magazine.

“This fall we will teach an undergraduate course on the history of the Houston region using the magazine as part of the reading material,” Pratt said. “Students will take part in the preparation of the articles and interviews for publication as part of the course requirements.”

The magazine will benefit those who are interested in history or the Houston region, said Pratt. He also said that the staff tries to include at least one article per issue about the history of the University of Houston.

Pratt hopes the magazine will come to share a part of their passion for the study of the past with the readers.

“I have taught history for almost 40 years,” said Pratt. “And I am certain that history can enrich our lives, help us understand the world in which we live and entertain us at the same time.

“I have spent most of my professional life trying to help young people appreciate the value of historical context in understanding their families, their university, their region, the organizations which they work, and even their options in life.”

Students who take the class will not have to subscribe to the magazine, but for those who would like to subscribe or search the website visit

Leave a Comment