Animation Historian

Chronicle the progress of cartoons from simple to high-tech.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $96,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Animation Historians do?

When you’re an Animation Historian, you may not know how tall Thomas Jefferson was, or how long the Spanish-American War lasted, but you know everything there is to know about Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse. It’s your job to study, catalog, preserve, and communicate the history of animation, including animated films, cartoon shows, and even comic strips.

You might work for an art museum as a Curator. You might work for a film studio as an Animator or a Film Producer. Or, you might work for a university as an Art History Professor. Always, however, you’re paid in some capacity to research and document the history of Animators and animated works, not to mention that of animation techniques and technology.

To do exactly that, you read books and articles, conduct firsthand interviews of Animators and their colleagues, and analyze animated works of historical significance, all the while trying to uncover new facts and construct new narratives about the art of animation.

Whether you’re studying the life of Walt Disney or the origin of Japanese “anime,” your goal as an Animation Historian is to eventually present and publish your findings, which you do by teaching classes to art and animation students, presenting at industry conferences like Comic-Con, writing journal articles, and authoring books. Basically, you’re a Biographer, chronicling the life not of a person, but of an art and an industry!


Should I be an Animation Historian?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • How to become an Animation Historian

    Most Animation Historians have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:axat9y&chl=|certificate+%2818%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29|master%27s+%2848%25%29|doctorate+%2819%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,48
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