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

Membership Programs…Are You Leaving Money On the Table?

Presented by the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Association of Museums, and Daniller + Company

Do you have a thriving membership program or does your membership program need a tune up?  Are you maximizing its income potential or could you make changes that will yield more long-term loyal supporters of your organization? 

This workshop is a primer for beginners and a great review for seasoned membership professionals and will cover new trends in thriving membership programs. Topics will include:

  • Why Membership?
  • Member Life Cycle
  • Membership Program Structure
  • Methods to Market Membership
  • Membership Renewals
  • Upgrade Campaigns
  • Membership Program Analytics
  • Stewarding your Members for Long-term Loyalty

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from two deeply experienced membership professionals with over 30 years of combined experience who currently work with over 35 museums and botanic gardens located all over the country, including the Kimbell Art Museum, the McNay Art Museum, the Franklin Institute, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 

Mae Daniller and Martha Ernst of Daniller + Company will lead this interactive and lively session, with plenty of time for questions during the workshop. 

Workshop Details:
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Thursday, August 25, 2016
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The fee is $35 and includes lunch.
Registration is available through the Texas Association of Museums website.

 

Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success

This summer and fall Museum Services will partner with Texas Association of Museums and the American Alliance of Museums to offer "Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success."

AAM has determined that every museum should have five core documents in place in order to operate effectively and adhere to best practices in museums.

Does your museum have a …

  • Mission Statement?
  • Code of Ethics?
  • Strategic Institutional Plan?
  • Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response Plan?
  • Collections Management Policy?

This all-day workshop provides the training, tools, and resources to help museums develop or improve their own core documents through hands-on activities and interactive discussions with an AAM staff member and other workshop attendees.In addition, real life examples of these essential documents are included for reference and review. By preparing and formalizing these materials, your organization will be better positioned to receive contributions, collaborate with other museums, and take a step towards museum accreditation.

Dates and Locations:

  • Wednesday, July 13: Lubbock, Silent Wings Museum
  • Friday, July 15: Dallas, The Sixth Floor Museum
  • Wednesday, November 9: Austin, Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Friday, November 11: Beaumont, Art Museum of Southeast Texas

Registration is currently open and available on the Texas Association of Museums website.

 

Museum Hack

Photo from a Museum Hack tour, courtesy of Museum Hack

Museum Hack is coming to Texas for a half-day workshop focused on their methodology for successfully engaging audiences: storytelling. When you tell great stories, you create a memorable experience and start a powerful viral loop as visitors share their experiences with friends and family.  In this workshop, participants will develop the confidence and skills to tell fascinating stories about their institutions from a place of personal connection and passion. Participants will also learn how to create interactive and inquiry-based games that utilize technology and the expertise of their audience to re-energize visitors and leave them wanting more.

Workshop Details:
The Grace Museum, 102 Cypress St, Abilene, TX 79601
Monday, August 15, 2016, 1-5 p.m. (with reception to follow)
$35

This workshop is full. To be added to a wait-list for this workshop, please email jennifer@texasmuseums.org.

AAM has determined that every museum should have five core documents in place in order to operate effectively and adhere to best practices in museums.

Does your museum have a …

  • Mission Statement?
  • Code of Ethics?
  • Strategic Institutional Plan?
  • Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response Plan?
  • Collections Management Policy?

This all-day workshop provides the training, tools, and resources to help museums develop or improve their own core documents through hands-on activities and interactive discussions with an AAM staff member and other workshop attendees. In addition, real life examples of these essential documents are included for reference and review.  By preparing and formalizing these materials, your organization will be better positioned to receive contributions, collaborate with other museums, and take a step towards museum accreditation.

Dates and Locations:

  • Wednesday, July 13: Lubbock, Silent Wings Museum
  • Friday, July 15: Dallas, The Sixth Floor Museum
  • Wednesday, November 9: Austin, Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Friday, November 11: Beaumont, The McFaddin-Ward House

For more information visit Training Opportunities.  Registration is currently open and available on the Texas Association of Museums website.

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

Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success - See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-services#...
Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success - See more at: http://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-services#....

If you are interested in sponsoring and hosting a 2017 workshop, contact Museum Services Program Staff for more information.

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

78%

Of museums in the U.S. do not have an emergency plan with staff trained to carry it out

More Fast Facts

What's New

Free Webinars from Collecting to Collections

All Aboard: Engineering Collections Care Training for Small Museums
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
1-2:30 p.m. CST
Cost: Free

The focus of this webinar is building professional development opportunities for the small museums staff and volunteers.

Hibernation – Not Just for Bears: Putting your house museum “to bed” for the season
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
11 a.m.-noon
Cost: Free

What do you need to know to ready your buildings for seasonal closures? In a discussion of how, when, why, and what to do to prepare your historic house museum for the winter season, this webinar will explore the variety of building and collections tasks that go into seasonal closings.

New Workshop! Strengthening Your Membership Program

Overwhelmed by the idea of starting a museum membership progam? Or you have a membership program but the numbers just keep going down each year? The Texas Association of Museums (TAM) along with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) can help you meet these challendges head on! On Thursday, August 25, TAM and the THC present Mae Daniller and Martha Ernst of Daniller + Company at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. This one-day learning opportunity will explore ways to structure your membership program, give advice on how to attract members as well as how to keep them. Additionally, plenty of time has been scheduled for you to ask questions and get answers to your membership quandries.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from two deeply experienced membership professionals with over 30 years of combined experience who currently work with over 35 museums and botanic gardens located all over the country, including the Kimbell Art Museum, the McNay Art Museum, the Franklin Institute, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Registration is avaiable on the TAM website.
 

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...