Museum Services

Texas is home to more than 950 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

Training

The Basics of Financial Management workshop
Friday, May 8, 2015
Pan Handle Plains Museum
Canyon, TX

Friday, June 5, 2015
Briscoe Museum of Western Art
San Antonio, TX

Description:
The Basics of Financial Management is a one-day workshop designed for museum leadership (paid staff or volunteer board members) who hold responsibility for the organization’s financial management.  Useful as an introduction and a refresher for non-profit managers, the workshop will help participants understand not only the “how” but also the “why” of budgeting by mission, record keeping, and financial analysis.  Grow your confidence in understanding the ethical considerations involved in sound financial management and in talking about your museum’s financial performance. 

Registration is currently open through the Texas Association of Museums website.

Instructor:  Mr. Chris Dyer, Executive Director, Arts Council of Brazos Valley, Bryan, TX

This workshop is sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission’s Museum Services Program in partnership with the Texas Association of Museums.


If you are interested in sponsoring and hosting a 2015 workshop, contact Museum Services Program Staff for more information.

The Technical Assistance section provides a number of downloadable resource lists, articles, and other useful information.

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

Over 900

Local history museums are in the state of Texas.

More Fast Facts

What's New

2015 Economic Impact Study

Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Texas

Texas Historical Commission (THC) in 1999 commissioned a study that quantified the economic contributions of historic preservation in Texas. The 1999 study became one of the earliest and most comprehensive research efforts on this topic in the United States.

This 2015 study updates the economic impact investigation, and expands it to include programs launched since 1999. Once again, UT-Austin and Rutgers University have collaborated on this 2015 study.

Chapter 6 deatils information specific to Texas History Museums.

Introduction to Museum Studies

Get an introduction to museum studies with "Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum".  This free online course is created by the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and National Museums Liverpool.

About the course
How can we understand museums today? Who makes the decisions about what to put in them and whose stories they tell? Who are museums for and why are they working to engage new audiences? How do we respond emotionally to museum objects and spaces? And how can museums play a role in the pursuit of social justice, human rights, or health and wellbeing?

Learn how modern museums impact our world
In this this free online course, you will explore all of these topics through a range of inspirational case studies and thought-provoking ideas. These show how modern museums seek to impact our contemporary world.

Throughout, you will be encouraged to share your thoughts and contribute to these key questions from your own perspective.

Requirements
This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in museums. You might be a current or prospective student, who wants to find out more about training in museum studies; a museum volunteer; or a museum practitioner. No prior knowledge or equipment is required.

This is a 6 week course that starts June 1, 2015. Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum

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.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-assista...

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.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-assista...