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: Artifact TLC
February 23, 2017
10-11 a.m.

Too many artifacts but not enough experience? Are you in charge of a collection that needs some basic tender loving care? The Texas Historical Commission’s own Chief Curator Laura DeNormandie will virtually walk you through basic preventative measures and preservation tips for your collection. A question and answer period follows Laura’s presentation. The webinar is free but you must register in advance. Register for this workshop.

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

70%

Of collecting institutions in the U.S. need additional training for their staff and volunteers caring for collections

More Fast Facts

What's New

AASLH's Top Ten Most Read Blogs from 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, AASLH is looking back at all the great articles posted on their blogs this year. Here are the top ten most-read posts of 2016:

1. A Few Simple Tips for Public Historians Working with Confrontational Visitors by Nick Sacco (10, 214 views) http://ow.ly/OxmF307nWku  
2. Baby Boom: Motherhood & Museums by Melissa Prycer (5,851 views) http://ow.ly/RnSY307nWwf
3. What They Don’t Teach You in Grad School: A Historic House Director Fills in the Blanks by Michelle Zupan (4,895 views) http://ow.ly/8YWa307nWLC
4. What I Look for in a Cover Letter and Other Thoughts About Job Applications by Janice Klein (3,518 views) http://ow.ly/NKe9307nYsP
5. Five Opportunities to Take a House Tour from “Meh” to Great by Bethany Hawkins (2,584) http://ow.ly/MbsL307nX9U
6. New Report Reveals Each Generation Less Likely to Visit Historic Sites Than the Last by John Dichtl http://ow.ly/nwHA307nXhx
7. House or Home? Rethinking the House Museum Paradigm by Ron M. Potvin http://ow.ly/Y0x5307nXnZ    
8. When History Doesn’t Matter by Anna Altschwager http://ow.ly/e8TB307nXxU    
9. 5 Ways to Get a Woman Out of the Kitchen by Dollie Boyd http://ow.ly/1DUL307nXFm
10. Ten Fundraising To-do’s for Small Museums & Nonprofits by Jamie Simek http://ow.ly/mzFN307nXLR



More About AASLH's Top Ten Most Read Blogs from 2016

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.

  • January 26, 2017, 1 p.m. (CST) – Preserving Film Collections for the Future: A Web Application

The Wisconsin Historical Society presents several free webinars applicable to all museum professionals--just not those in Wisconsin. Registration is required.

  • December 21, 2016,  10:30 a.m.–noon: Planned Giving: Strengthening the Future of Your Historical Society
  • January 4, 2017 10:30 a.m.–-noon: What’s So Special About Your Place? National Geographic's Sustainable Tourism MapGuide Program
  • January 25, 2017, 10:30 a.m.–noon: A Primer on Research and Evaluation: What You Should Know
  • February 1, 2017, 10:30 a.m.–noon: Exhibits – Best Practices
  • February 3, 2017, 10:30 a.m.–noon: From Rutabagas to Roses: Recreating Historical Gardens
  • February 8, 2017, 10:30 a.m.–noon: Top Ten Tips for Marketing Your Organization

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...