Photo by Evan Whisnant, July 2017.

Anne Mitchell Whisnant is a professional historian whose teaching, research, speaking, consulting, and writing focus on public history, digital and geospatial history, and the history of the U.S. National Parks. As of August, 2019, she is also Director of the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Duke University and, as of 2022, she holds a faculty appointment as Associate Professor of the Practice (Public History) in the Social Science Research Institute at Duke.

From 2017-19, she was a public historian in private practice, working with her husband David Whisnant as co-principal of their public history consulting firm, Primary Source History Services, based in Chapel Hill, NC.

During 2016-17 she was Whichard Visiting Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University, and before that, for ten years (2006-16), she was Deputy Secretary of the Faculty and Director of Research, Communications, and Programs for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Faculty Governance.

Dr. Whisnant received her Ph.D. in history at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2006, UNC Press published her book, Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History. At UNC-Chapel Hill, she served as scholarly adviser for Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway, an online history collection developed collaboratively with the Park Service and the UNC Libraries. Her teaching in public history has always incorporated significant digital components, and her students have developed a number of web exhibits related to Blue Ridge Parkway and university history.  In 2010, she and husband David published a Parkway book for children, titled When the Parkway Came. As a consultant, Dr. Whisnant has been the co-principal historian on several other National Park Service projects. From 2008-12, she chaired a task force commissioned by the Organization of American Historians and the National Park Service to study historical practice within the Park Service. The resulting report, Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, won the 2013 Excellence in Consulting Award from the National Council on Public History and is helping set a vision for future NPS historical work.

A portal to all of Anne’s Blue Ridge Parkway-related work is here at

Links to Anne’s teaching materials may be found here.

And information on Anne’s work with the “alt-ac” (Ph.D.-prepared university administrator) community may be found here.

See Anne’s complete CV here.

New, in 2022: Anne is on Mastodon here.

2023: Interested friends and family may find Joe and Norma Mitchell’s obituaries here.