Helpful Resources

Click on the links below to find resources related to the following subjects. Additional resources on any topic are available by contacting Museum Services staff. Many of the free webinars in our archives also address these topics.

Administration and Planning

Alternatives to Starting a Museum
The Art of Relevance
Basic Readings for the Small Museum
Code of Ethics for Museums
Developing a Mission Statement
History Organizations and Friends Groups: A Practical Guide for Success
History Relevance
Hotel Occupancy Tax Toolkit
How Can History-Focused Organizations Invest in Stability
How to Build an Effective Nonprofit Board
Laws of Texas Pertaining to Museums
Mission and Institutional Planning
Museum Facts at a Glance
The Participatory Museum
Protecting African American Historic Places in Texas: A Legal Community Toolkit
Starting a Museum Resources
Strategic Planning Resources
Sustaining Places: An Encyclopedia of Resources for Small Historical Organizations
Texas Commission on the Arts Tools for Results Toolkit
What's Next? A Guide to Museum Transitions and Closures and a Supplement for Texas Museums
Which Museum Assessment Program is Right for My Museum? and 13 Tips to Expedite the Museum Accreditation Process

Collections Care

Active Collections
Benson Ford Research Center Care, Storage, and Handling of Objects 
Canadian Conservation Institute
Collections Management Policy Toolkit
Connecting to Collection Care
Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts
Library of Congress
Museum Textile Services Resources
National Park Service’s Conserve O Gram Technical Leaflet Series
National Park Service’s Museum Handbook
National Park Service's Preservation Breifs
Northeast Document Conservation Center
Northern States Conservation Center
Preservation Glossary
Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute
Standards for Museums with Native American Collections

Community Engagement

Community Issue Exhibition Toolkit
Community Ties: Understanding What Attaches People to the Places Where They Live
Designing for Engagement: Five Steps for Co-Creating Exhibits and Programs with Your Communities
How Museums Are Reaching Out to Their Local Communities
Museums Need Collections and Connections
Rural America Placemaking Toolkit
Stretch Your Operational Wings: Tools for Assertive Engagement
Towards a More Community-Centered Museum

COVID-19 Pandemic

AASLH COVID-19 Resources
AAM COVID-19 Resources and Information for the Museum Field
IMLS COVID-19 Resources for Libraries and Museums
Impact of COVID-19 on People in the Museum Field
Maintaining Financial Stability in a Crisis
NTHP Resources in Response to the Coronavirus
Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums Toolkit for Museums
Reopenings: What Museums Learned Leading through Crisis
Vaccines and US: Cultural Organizations for Community Health

Consultants and Vendors

Museum Consultants Working in Texas
Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums Directory of Consultants, Contractors, and Vendors
Ethical Contracting: Is Your Museum Doing It?
Hiring a Conservation Professional
International Mountmakers Forum Directory
Proxy Researcher List from the Archivists of Central Texas
Suppliers of Preservation and Conservation Materials
Ten Questions to Ask a Conservator
Working with Independent Museum Professionals
Writing Better RFPs

Disaster and Emergency Planning and Response

Seeking immediate assistance with disaster preparedness or emergency response? Contact the National Heritage Responders at 202-661-8068 or TX-CERA at 669-237-2243 for expert guidance and on-site support.

Disaster Checklists and Planning:
Developing a Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response Plan
Disaster Plan Template for Museums
Disaster Preparedeness and Emergency Response Plans for Small Museums
dPlan™ (NEDCC)
Emergency! If You're First
Emergency Drying Procedures for Water Damaged Collections
Emergency Preparedness Checklist for Museums
Facilities Risk Assessment for Museums
Location Risk Assessment for Museums
Preparation For a Hurricane 
Salvage Priorities for Museums
Texas Division of Emergency Management Disaster Recovery Resources

Disaster Articles and Resources:
Disaster Preparedness Activity
Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Resources
Emergency Collections Assessment Program
Emergency Response and Salvage Mobile App
Heritage Emergency National Task Force
How Libraries Can Prepare for Natural Disasters and Preserve Community History
Museum and Cultural Heritage Industry Workplace Program
National Heritage Responders
Northeast Document Conservation Center 
Texas Cultural Emergency Resource Alliance
Texas Disaster Preparedness

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion

Accessibility and Disability Micro-Learning Series
Accessibility Excellence Project
ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business
Audiences and Inclusion: A Primer for Cultivating More Inclusive Attitudes Among the Public
Creating a Sensory-Friendly Environment
Diversifying Museum Boards
Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Definitions
Equitable Exhibits: Make Your Arts Programming More Accessible to People with Disabilities
How to Make Your Museum More Accessible on a Shoestring Budget
How to Make Your Presentations and Meetings Accessible to All
The Incluseum
Inclusive Digital Interactives: Best Practices + Research
The Inclusive Historian's Handbook
LGBTQ Welcoming Guidelines for Museums
Making History Accessible: Toolkit for Multisensory Interpretation
Museum Hue
Museum as Site for Social Action
Transgender Inclusion
Universal Design Plan: Exhibit Design and Development

Education, Interpretation, and Public Programs

Essential Reading for Museum Educators
History, the Past, and Public Culture: Results from a National Survey
Interpretation Standards
Monument Lab Field Trip
Museum Learning Hub
Tour Toolkit: Developing an Inclusive Tour
What Makes K-12 Public School Educators Choose to Use Museums as Part of Their Curriculum?

Exhibition Development

Basic Guidelines for the Preservation of Historic Artifacts
Collections Care Resources
Collections Management Resources
Exhibit Development and Design Workbook
Light Level Recommendations
A Quick Guide for the Preservation of Historic Artifacts
The Six Tools for Effective Digital Design
Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design
Smithsonian Guide to Interpretive Writing for Exhibitions
Textile Resource List

Grants and Fundraising

See the Grants and Fundraising page and download the Grant Funding and Assistance for History Museums guide. 


Blue Avocado
Board Source
Legal Guide to Forming a Nonprofit Association in Texas
Mission Capital
Nonprofit Quarterly
Propel Nonprofits
Texas Secretary of State

Social Media

Going Viral, The Right Way
ICOM Social Media Guidelines
Instagram for Nonprofits: The Ultimate Guide
Articles on Museum Marketing
Museums and YouTube
Sixteen Tips for Creating a Small Museum YouTube Series
Small Museums are Stealing the Show on TikTok
Social Media Strategy for the National Archives
Three Ways Your Museum Should Be Using Instagram


Are You Sustainable: A Self-Directed Assessment Tool
Before You Open it: A Checklist for Planning New Museums in Historic Buildings
Characteristics of Unsustainable Organizations
If it is Time to Close: Considerations for Dissolving an Organization
Summerlee Commission's Study on the Sustainability of History Organizations
Sustaining History Through Best Practices and New Approaches
Why History is Difficult to Sustain


10 Must-Haves for Well-Crafted Volunteer Job Description
American Association for Museum Volunteers
Centering Untapped Communities in Your Volunteer Strategy
Cultivating Shared Leadership with Docents and Staff
DEAI Definitions and Best Practices for Volunteer Programs
Designing a Museum Volunteer Program
Difficult Conversations with Volunteers
How a New Era of Volunteer Programs is Embracing Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
How to Set Up a Volunteer Handbook that Fosters Engagement
Keeping Volunteers: A Guide to Retention
Museums and Equity: Volunteers
National Docent Symposium Council
Volunteers Get Burnout Too—But You Can Help Prevent It

Information developed by other organizations and individuals, and shared by the Texas Historical Commission, does not necessarily reflect the views of the THC and its staff.