Museum Services

Texas is home to more than 900 local history museums. Whether housed in a historic structure or a state-of-the-art new building, each one is dedicated to telling the story of a community’s unique history. Collectively, they preserve the real places and the real things that tell the whole story of Texas.

The Museum Services Program enables small history museums to better carry out their missions by helping them to increase their capacity for meeting professional standards. We do this by providing:

  • Free consultations
  • Training
  • Communication

Free consultations

Program staff can assist museums in any aspect of museum operations, including but not limited to:

  • Starting, planning, or reorganizing a museum
  • Writing mission statements
  • Strategic planning
  • Disaster preparedness and recovery
  • Educational program development
  • Exhibit planning and design
  • Interpretation of collections
  • Board development and relations
  • Volunteer recruitment and training
  • Special events
  • Collections care
  • Security
  • Fundraising
  • Professional ethics

In addition, our Technical Assistance section provides a number of downloadable resource lists, articles, and other useful information for museums.

Training

Keep checking this webpage for 2018 webinars and workshops, or e-mail tricia.blakistone@thc.texas.gov and asked to be added to Museum Services e-mail list. (This list is not sold or distributed to third-parties.)

Click here to access recordings of past webinars.

Communications

Museum Services Intern Diana Luis

Check out the Highlights and What’s New Sections of this web page for announcements and current news from Museums Services.

Program staff sends email notices on timely information about current trends, available resources, technical tips, upcoming grant deadlines, training opportunities, and other types of assistance. To be added to this email list, contact program staff.

Fast
Facts

39%

Of collecting institutions in the U.S. have a backlog in cataloging their collections

More Fast Facts

What's New

TPTF Emergency Grant Program Application Packet Available for Hurricane Harvey Disaster Assistance

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) awards grants for preservation projects from the Texas Preservation Trust Fund (TPTF) on a yearly basis. The purpose of the Fiscal Year 2018 Texas Preservation Trust Fund Emergency Grant Program is to provide grant funding to historic properties and archeological resources in the state-declared disaster area that sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey. 

Deadline: The THC will accept TPTF Emergency Grant Program applications for fiscal year 2018 until November 30, 2017, at 5 p.m.

Grant awards will be considered by the THC in January 2018.

By submitting an emergency application, you are notifying our office of emergency needs in your community as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Download the Application Guide

In addition, you can find resources to aid in emergency response and recovery efforts on our technical assistance web page.

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) offers awards to recognize worthy accomplishments and exemplary leadership in the preservation of Texas’ heritage. - See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/awards#sthash.iNC3hcrG.dpuf
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) offers awards to recognize worthy accomplishments and exemplary leadership in the preservation of Texas’ heritage. - See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/awards#sthash.iNC3hcrG.dpuf
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) offers awards to recognize worthy accomplishments and exemplary leadership in the preservation of Texas’ heritage. - See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/awards#sthash.iNC3hcrG.dpuf

Applying for Federal Assistance in Texas

The Request for Public Assistance (RPA) deadline is now 5:00 pm, Oct. 31, 2017.
Arts organizations and cultural institutions that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey may be eligible for Federal assistance via:

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans

In a Nutshell: File, File, File

1. File a claim with your insurance company immediately. Follow all the deadlines set by the insurance company, and submit all documents and information requested within the deadlines set by the company. FEMA will want to see a settlement or denial letter from your insurance company to ensure that benefits are not duplicated, so be sure to file an insurance claim promptly. If you still have unmet needs or damages that the insurance company does not cover, then FEMA may be able to provide you with assistance.

2. File for FEMA Public Assistance. Don’t dither about your eligibility; let FEMA determine your status. Be aware of the filing deadline. If you miss the deadline, which varies based on your county disaster declaration date, you will not have access to this federal disaster assistance.

3. File for a Small Business Administration disaster loan as well. Complete and submit the application as soon as possible. Returning the application does not obligate you to accept an SBA loan, but it is a necessary step to being considered for other forms of federal disaster assistance, including FEMA Public Assistance

Has your organization been waiting for the right time to enroll in AASLH’s Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs)? Now is the time because AASLH is offering a special “get-the-ball-rolling” bonus for organizations that sign up in May.

StEPs is all about daily tasks like caring for collections, planning programs, and working with a board of directors. StEPs will help you build a stronger and more vibrant organization. And that translates into more credibility, more support, and a museum that is a valuable asset to its community for many more years to come.

- See more at: http://blogs.aaslh.org/enroll-in-steps-in-may-and-get-a-special-get-the-...

Has your organization been waiting for the right time to enroll in AASLH’s Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs)? Now is the time because AASLH is offering a special “get-the-ball-rolling” bonus for organizations that sign up in May.

StEPs is all about daily tasks like caring for collections, planning programs, and working with a board of directors. StEPs will help you build a stronger and more vibrant organization. And that translates into more credibility, more support, and a museum that is a valuable asset to its community for many more years to come.

- See more at: http://blogs.aaslh.org/enroll-in-steps-in-may-and-get-a-special-get-the-...

Erin McClelland, Instructor
Based in Austin, McClelland is an independent interpretive specialist who works with small- to medium-sized museums. She regularly offers training in interpretation, exhibit content development, and interpretive master planning.

Several dates in June:
8:30 am Registration
9:00 am - 4:00 pm Workshop
Lunch will be provided.
Registration fee: $35

- See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-assistanc...

Erin McClelland, Instructor
Based in Austin, McClelland is an independent interpretive specialist who works with small- to medium-sized museums. She regularly offers training in interpretation, exhibit content development, and interpretive master planning.

Several dates in June:
8:30 am Registration
9:00 am - 4:00 pm Workshop
Lunch will be provided.
Registration fee: $35

- See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-assistanc...

More About Applying for Federal Assistance in Texas