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

Membership Programs…Are You Leaving Money On the Table?

Presented by the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Association of Museums, and Daniller + Company

Do you have a thriving membership program or does your membership program need a tune up?  Are you maximizing its income potential or could you make changes that will yield more long-term loyal supporters of your organization? 

This workshop is a primer for beginners and a great review for seasoned membership professionals and will cover new trends in thriving membership programs. Topics will include:

  • Why Membership?
  • Member Life Cycle
  • Membership Program Structure
  • Methods to Market Membership
  • Membership Renewals
  • Upgrade Campaigns
  • Membership Program Analytics
  • Stewarding your Members for Long-term Loyalty

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from two deeply experienced membership professionals with over 30 years of combined experience who currently work with over 35 museums and botanic gardens located all over the country, including the Kimbell Art Museum, the McNay Art Museum, the Franklin Institute, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 

Mae Daniller and Martha Ernst of Daniller + Company will lead this interactive and lively session, with plenty of time for questions during the workshop. 

Workshop Details:
Houston location TBD
Thursday, August 25, 2016
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The fee is $35 and includes lunch.
Registration is available through the Texas Association of Museums website.

Daniller + Company is a premier fundraising consulting firm located in Austin Texas.  With dozens of non-profit clients across the country, they work with organizations from 5,000 to 500,000 supporters developing customized membership and annual giving strategies.  

Words to Live By: 5 Powerful Tools for your Museum's Success

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

11 counties in Texas

Do not have history museums

More Fast Facts

What's New

Free Webinars from Collecting to Collections

Seeding Engagement and Cultivating Volunteers through Crowdsourcing
Thursday, July 7, 2016
1-2:30 p.m. CST
Free

This webinar looks at successful approaches, what can be done, and lessons learned from the Smithsonian’s crowdsourcing transcription project.

All Aboard: Engineering Collections Care Training for Small Museums
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
1-2:30 p.m. CST
Cost: Free

The focus of this webinar is building professional development opportunities for the small museums staff and volunteers.

Hibernation – Not Just for Bears: Putting your house museum “to bed” for the season
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
11 a.m.-noon
Cost: Free

What do you need to know to ready your buildings for seasonal closures? In a discussion of how, when, why, and what to do to prepare your historic house museum for the winter season, this webinar will explore the variety of building and collections tasks that go into seasonal closings.

Announcing ‘Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum’ Week 2016

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is excited to launch the fifth annual field-wide, “Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum Week,” August 6-13, 2016.

We know that museums are unique and innovative learning spaces, but do your elected officials know that? The most powerful way to demonstrate that museums are essential is to invite federal, state and local legislators to see first-hand how your museum is serving your community.

This summer, public officials—members of Congress and state and local leaders—will be looking for ways to connect with constituents like you, and each year we hear how much they love visiting their local museums. Use AAM’s advocacy tools to send the invitation. Our step-by-step guide will help you plan the visit:

  1. Find out who represents you in Congress.
  2. Send an invitation letter.
  3. Follow up with the local office until a meeting can be scheduled for the week of August 6, (or offer alternate dates if needed).
  4. Let us know when you have a meeting set up and we will help publicize the visit.
  5. Plan the visit! See the Alliance “How To” guide—including what to do before, during and after the visit.

Questions about participating? E-mail us. Use #InviteCongress on Facebook and Twitter. Since August 2012, over 100 #InviteCongress visits have taken place.
 

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...