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

This summer and fall Museum Services will partner with Texas Association of Museums and the American Alliance of Museums to offer "Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success."

AAM has determined that every museum should have five core documents in place in order to operate effectively and adhere to best practices in museums.

Does your museum have a …

  • Mission Statement?
  • Code of Ethics?
  • Strategic Institutional Plan?
  • Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response Plan?
  • Collections Management Policy?

This all-day workshop provides the training, tools, and resources to help museums develop or improve their own core documents through hands-on activities and interactive discussions with an AAM staff member and other workshop attendees. In addition, real life examples of these essential documents are included for reference and review.  By preparing and formalizing these materials, your organization will be better positioned to receive contributions, collaborate with other museums, and take a step towards museum accreditation.

Dates and Locations:

  • Wednesday, July 13: Lubbock, Silent Wings Museum
  • Friday, July 15: Dallas, The Sixth Floor Museum
  • Wednesday, November 9: Austin, Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Friday, November 11: Beaumont, The McFaddin-Ward House

For more information visit Training Opportunities.  Registration is currently open and available on the Texas Association of Museums website.

AAM has determined that every museum should have five core documents in place in order to operate effectively and adhere to best practices in museums.

Does your museum have a …

  • Mission Statement?
  • Code of Ethics?
  • Strategic Institutional Plan?
  • Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response Plan?
  • Collections Management Policy?

This all-day workshop provides the training, tools, and resources to help museums develop or improve their own core documents through hands-on activities and interactive discussions with an AAM staff member and other workshop attendees. In addition, real life examples of these essential documents are included for reference and review.  By preparing and formalizing these materials, your organization will be better positioned to receive contributions, collaborate with other museums, and take a step towards museum accreditation.

Dates and Locations:

  • Wednesday, July 13: Lubbock, Silent Wings Museum
  • Friday, July 15: Dallas, The Sixth Floor Museum
  • Wednesday, November 9: Austin, Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Friday, November 11: Beaumont, The McFaddin-Ward House

For more information visit Training Opportunities.  Registration is currently open and available on the Texas Association of Museums website.

- See more at: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-service...

Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success - See more at: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-service...
Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success - See more at: http://www.thc.state.tx.us/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-service....

If you are interested in sponsoring and hosting a 2017 workshop, contact Museum Services Program Staff for more 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

12 million

The number of students museums provide hands-on experiences to each year

More Fast Facts

What's New

Free Webinars from Nonprofit Tech for Good

Heather Mansfield presents webinars on how nonprofits can effectively utilize web and email communications, online fundraising tools, and mobile and social media. Her webinars focus on practical how-to advice and demonstrate click-by-click the best practices that Heather has learned from a 20-year career in online communications and fundraising and spending more than 20,000 hours on social media sites over the last decade.

Tuesday, May 31
10 Online Fundraising Best Practices for NGOs

1pm EDT (New York City)/ 10am PDT (Vancouver)

Tuesday, June 7
Nonprofit 911: Record-Breaking Campaigns: 5 Easy Fundraising Ideas You Can Steal
1pm EDT

Thursday, June 9
EDTNonprofit 911: 7 Simple Things You Can Do in the Next 30 Days to Turn Event Attendees into Loyal Donors
3pm EDT

Thursday, July 7
10 Social Media Strategies That Increase Engagement and Inspire Donors

1pm EDT (New York City)/ 10am PDT (Vancouver)
Registration opens May 31.

Tuesday, August 2
10 Emerging Trends in Digital Communications and Fundraising

1pm EDT (New York City)/ 10am PDT (Vancouver)
Registration opens July 7.

Small Museum Scholarship to AASLH Annual Conference!

AASLH logo

The Small Museums Committee of AASLH is offering scholarships for an individual to attend the 2016 AASLH Annual Meeting (Detroit, MI – September 14-17). This scholarship is available to full- or part-time paid/unpaid employees of a small museum (annual budget of up to $250,000). The $500 scholarship will cover the cost of the conference registration and the Small Museums Luncheon with any remaining funds to offset travel and/or lodging expenses. DEADLINE: June 10.

The scholarship is open to AASLH individual members or people working for institutional members and is a benefit of membership.

Apply online here!

For questions, please contact Aja Bain at AASLH, 615-320-3203.

Award notification will be made no later than June 30 by email.

StEPs is AASLH’s self-study standards program designed specifically for small- to mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions. Through a workbook, online resources, and an online community, organizations enrolled in StEPS assess their policies and practices and benchmark themselves against nationally recognized standards. The program is divided into six sections that can be addressed in any order. In each section, organizations can identify their current practice as Basic, Good, or Better. Each level has its indicators, allowing organizations to set realistic goals and tackle challenges in small, manageable steps. Work  in each section at your own pace using checklists, worksheets, sample documents, and the 24/7 online community. - See more at: http://tools.aaslh.org/steps/#sthash.hd7bpOQ4.dpuf

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.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...