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 the following services at no cost:

  • Consultations
  • Training
  • Communication
  • Resources

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.

Consultations

Program staff can provide free, individualized assistance and support to 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
  • Marketing and social media
  • Collections care
  • Security
  • Fundraising
  • Professional ethics

Training

Free Webinar: Creating a Community of Museum Colleagues
Wednesday, June 5, 2:00 p.m. CT
Felice Cleveland and Natalie Svacina, Co-Chairs, Houston Museum Education Roundtable
Learn more and register now!

Free Webinar: Incorporating AR/VR Technology Within Your Museum: A Behind the Scenes Look

Tuesday, July 30, 11:00 a.m. CT
Dani Marshall, Museum of Texas Tech University
Learn more and register now!

Free Webinar: Insurance Basics for Historical Collections

Thursday, August 22, 10:00 a.m. CT
Joy Simpson, Higginbotham
Learn more and register now!

Communications

Check out the "Highlights" and "What’s New" sections below for announcements and current news from Museums Services.

Program staff sends email notices on timely information about current trends, available resources, upcoming grant deadlines, training opportunities, and other types of assistance. To be added to this email list, contact program staff.
 

 

Resources

The Helpful Resources page provides a number of downloadable resource lists, articles, and other useful information for museums. All previous Museum Services Webinars are archived and available to view at any time. The Connect and Learn page provides links to trainings hosted by other organizations and services, as well as listings of museum professional organizations. Grants and Fundraising offers resources for grant-writing, fundraising ideas, and an extensive list of grant opportunities relevant to museums in Texas.

 

Fast
Facts

153 million

Photographs in U.S. collecting institutions are at risk

More Fast Facts

What's New

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Assistance

The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded Texas a $12,318,047 Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund grant for historic preservation projects. The emergency grant program will address damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is managing the grant program for the State of Texas. The Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (HIM ESHPF) grant program is competitive. THC will award grants to qualified applicants, and will coordinate with grantees and the NPS. Grant applications can be made by any public, private, or nonprofit entity that is the owner of an eligible property, or any public, private, or nonprofit entity whose purpose includes historic preservation.

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 Hurricane Harvey Disaster Assistance

Emergency Planning Workshop Series

Hurricane Harvey caused historic, catastrophic flooding in Texas and reignited the demand for education and training in disaster preparedness and response. The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) is offering in 2019 a series of professional development opportunities to equip those caring for archival materials with the knowledge, skills and hands-on experience needed to prepare repositories for threats and recover damaged collections. THRAB has contracted with Cultural Heritage Preservation Consultant Rebecca Elder to teach two 90-minute webinars on emergency planning and recovery and two-day hands-on workshops in Austin and Houston. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), workshops are provided free of charge and available to those working in Texas repositories. 

Hands-on workshops are scheduled for June 13-14 in Austin and in Houston June 27-28. Each will be a two-day event. The first day will focus on emergency preparedness, and the second day will focus on response, including a wet salvage exercise. Each workshop will be limited to 20 attendees working for a Texas repository. Registration will open in early May. Please note that THRAB may limit registration to one person per institution to allocate space equitably.

More About Emergency Planning Workshop Series