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

Webinar: Active Shooter Training for Museums
February 2, 2018
2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (CST)
Register

This training program, led by Sergeant Michael Monaghan of the Texas Department of Public Safety, is designed to teach you, as a museum staff, volunteer or board member, to take direct responsibility for your personal safety and security in the museum and beyond. It stresses awareness, preparation, and rehearsal; the keys to safety. You will learn how, with proper mindset and the necessary tools, to be better equipped to react with purpose and to maximize your chance of survival if involved in an active shooter situation.

Webinar: Big Marketing for Small Museums
February 20, 2018
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (CST)
Register

Everyone wants to get the word out about their great museum but some can’t afford a dedicated marketing department. So what can you do to market your site on a small budget?  Mary Jane Connor, Director of Marketing at the Wisconsin Historical Society, shares some of her top tips for small museums with big marketing needs.

Keep checking this webpage for 2018 for more 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

Emergency Collections Assessment for Preservation Support for Museums in Federally Declared Disaster Areas

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announce availability of Emergency Collections Assessment for Preservation support. The Emergency CAP will help collecting institutions in federally declared disaster areas receive post-disaster collections care recommendations from conservation and building professionals on an expedited basis.

Emergency CAPs follow the general guidelines of the Collections Assessment for Preservation program, with the following exceptions:

  • Only museums affected by recent federally-declared disasters are eligible.
  • Museums of any size are eligible for an Emergency CAP.
  • Assessor allocations for Emergency CAPs range from $3500-$4900 per assessor, based on institutional budget, need, and available funds.
  • Applications for Emergency CAPs are reviewed immediately upon receipt. Applicants are typically notified of their status within two weeks of application.
  • Program schedules and deadlines are determined by each institution and its team of assessors, subject to approval by FAIC. All program activities must occur within one year of notification of program acceptance.

Limited funding is available. Eligible museums interested in receiving an Emergency CAP assessment should contact Tiffani Emig, CAP Program Coordinator, at 202-750-3346 or temig@conservation-us.org for additional information.

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

Museum Assessment Program

With 2018 quickly approaching, there's no better way to start the new year strong than by participating in the America Museum Alliance's Museum Assessment Program

This low-to-no cost one-year program will help your museum strengthen operations, meet standards and best practices, and plan for the future.

Submit your application by February 1 to be considered for the next MAP class and join the over 5,000 museums that have leveraged their MAP results to:

  • successfully apply for grants
  • improve collections care
  • build staff capacity
  • align activities, mission and resources
  • better understand their community needs
  • educate board members on museum practice

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...