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.

Museum Services and the Field Services Alliance are conducting a survey to better understand how we can improve the services and resources we provide to museums and other cultural service organizations. Please take a few minutes (less than ten) to complete the survey and let us know how you currently use our services. Additionally, please let us know what training and resources you will find useful in the next two years.

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 Helpful Resources section provides a number of downloadable resource lists, articles, and other useful information for museums.

Training

Podcasting 101 for Museums and Historic Sites
Wednesday, April 24, 10:00 a.m.
Hannah Hethmon, Author, Your Museum Needs a Podcast
Register now!
How can history organizations and sites use podcasting to connect with audiences, educate, and build super fans? In this webinar, Hannah Hethmon, a consultant and producer specializing in podcasting for cultural nonprofits will cover the A-Z of podcasts. Participants in this webinar will learn how podcasting is being used by museums and historic sites, what it takes to produce their own podcast, how they can decide if podcasting is right for them, and how to get started making a quality podcast on a small budget.

Digital Strategy on a Budget
Tuesday, May 14, 10:00 a.m.
Koven J. Smith, Museum Digitalist
Details and registration information coming soon.

Creating a Community of Museum Colleagues
Wednesday, June 5, 2:00 p.m.
Felice Cleveland and Natalie Svacina, Co-Chairs, Houston Museum Education Roundtable
Details and registration information coming soon.

Communications

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

165 million

The number of tourists museums attract annually

More Fast Facts

What's New

AASLH Visitation Survey

The American Association of State and Local History is conducting a national survey of institutions seeking information about visitation trends between the years of 2013-2018.  Please take five minutes to complete this survey and pass along to any other institutions who may be interested in participating. Results will be shared with participants in August of 2019.

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

TAM Annual Meeting 2019

The Texas Association of Museums 2019 Annual Meeting will be held in El Paso from April 2-5. You can register and view the meeting program here. We hope to see many of you there!

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...