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

Workshops

Becoming a Champion for Museums
Dates and locations: October 3 (Lubbock) and October 5 (El Paso) The exact locations TBD.
Time: Registration 8:30 a.m., workshop 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Instructor:  Bob Beatty, The Lyndhurst Group, Inc.
Cost: $35 (includes lunch)
Registration

Ultimately, an organization's true value is measured in its importance to its community. Stakeholders often learn of our impact (and engage in our work) through efforts in sharing messages about our role and importance to community life. This is part of our job description as museum professionals and is a year-round activity that extends beyond policymakers and includes your stakeholders throughout the community including friends, neighbors, donors, and members. In this workshop, learn how to effectively make your case, from the basics of the process, to creating a plan to articulate message, and to engaging  stakeholders in the cause.

Free Webinars

Textile Conservation
Date: September 13
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Presenter: Rebecca Elder, Rebecca Elder Cultural Heritage Preservation
Registration

Do you have quilts, costumes or embroidered samplers in your collection? Join us for an informative hour to discuss methods for storage, handling and display that will extend the lifespans of these fragile but vulnerable materials.

How Do We Pay For It?: Grants and Grant Writing for Collections
October 18
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Presenter: Rebecca Elder, Rebecca Elder Cultural Heritage Preservation
Registration

By now, you probably have a long list of collections care projects you would like to accomplish, but you probably don’t have the resources you need to make them happen. Let’s talk about potential funding sources and the grant writing process so that you can make your collections care dreams come true.

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

2.6 billion

Items in historic, cultural, and scientific collections in the U.S. are not protected by an emergency plan and are at great risk

More Fast Facts

What's New

Collections Assessment Program Applications Start Soon!

Are you looking to improve your museum’s collections care, organizational management, or community engagement, but don’t know where to begin? Do you have a long list of things you’d like to accomplish, but struggle with limited staff and resources? Assessment programs like MAP (Museum Assessment Program) and CAP (Collections Assessment for Preservation) can help by providing a road map to help you distinguish your critical needs from less important tasks. The application period for the 2018 Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program will be November 1, 2017, through February 1, 2018. A free webinar with more information on both CAP and MAP will be on September 21, 1 p.m. (CST).

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

More About Collections Assessment Program Applications Start Soon!

Free Webinars

The Connecting to Collections Care Online Community helps smaller cultural institutions to provide well-informed care for valuable collections through free webinars. Registration is required.

Image Permanence Institute. The first three webinars discuss the various materials and technologies of photographic prints.

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...