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

To be included in the THC Atlas, a history museum must exhibit and interpret objects and stories in a structure designed for public visitation, on a regular schedule at least 120 days per year.

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: Making Your Case with Parent Organizations
June 7, 2018
2-3 p.m. CST
Free
Register

Many museums and historic sites fall under the governance of county, city or universities. Representatives from organizations governed by these entities present challenges they have faced and the tools they utilized to solve these challenges.

Webinar: Website Redos
July 25, 2018
10-11 a.m. CST
Free
Register


Is your website outdated? Wondering how to give it a facelift? Texas Historical Commission’s webmaster Jared Porter will share some tips and answer your questions about updating your website.

Webinar: Better Safe than Sorry: Understanding Hazards Found in Collections
August 21, 2018
10-11 a.m. CST
Free
Register

Museum collections are filled with ordinary objects that contain health and safety hazards for museum staff and volunteers. During this webinar, we will explore how you can identify these objects and work safely around them.

Keep checking this webpage 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.)

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

$21 billion

The amount museums contribute to the American economy each year

More Fast Facts

What's New

May is Emergency Preparedness Month

Join museums around the country in doing at least one thing in the month of May to prepare for an emergency. MayDay is an annual call to action for cultural organizations to improve their disaster readiness. Need ideas for steps to take? Check out the following resources:

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

Museums as Economic Engines

Did you know that:

  • $3.9 billion is the financial impact that Texas museums have on its economy?
  • 62,013 jobs within Texas are supported by the museum industry?
  • Texas museums generate $900 million dollars in tax revenue?
  • $2.7 billion is the amount that museums provide in wages and other incomes to Texas' residents annually?
  • 89% of Americans believe that museums provide important economic impacts to their communities?

To learn more about museums as economic engines download a free report from the American Association of Museums here: http://www.aam-us.org/upload/ee-Texas.pdf

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...