Historic House Museums

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The Historic House Museum Community

Historic houses are among the most numerous museums in the country and AASLH consistently develops services to meet the needs of historic house museum professionals. AASLH maintains numerous resources for historic house museums and prides itself on having the largest number of historic house museums as members than any other professional museum organization.

Since the 1960s, historic house museums have become a collected presence in America’s cultural landscape. Yet it seems every week a new one opens and another closes its doors for good. What can be done to forestall the decline in historic house museums in peril and outline a path back to a healthy and vigorous future?

The mission of AASLH’s Historic House Museum Committee is to provide advice and direction for the development of programs and services that benefit historic house museums in the United States; and to ensure that AASLH’s programs and services for these organizations are high quality, address identified needs of the membership, and reflect current issues and thinking in the field.

Historic House Museum Committee

The AASLH Historic House Museum Affinity Community is led by the following committee:

Jessica VanLanduyt, Chair (2020-2022, 1st Term)
Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA
jvanlanduyt@atlantahistorycenter.com

Carey Champion, Secretary (2020-2022, 2nd Term)
Wylie House Museum, Bloomington, IN
crbeam@indiana.edu

Kelsey Brow (2019-2021, 1st Term)
King Manor Museum, Jamaica, NY
curator@kingmanor.org

Rena Lawrence (2020-2022, 1st Term)
Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth, TX
rena.lawrence@fortworthtexas.gov

John Sherrer (2020-2022, 2nd Term)
Historic Columbia, Columbia, SC
jsherrer@historiccolumbia.org

Brooke Steinhauser (2020-2022, 1st Term)
Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA
bsteinhauser@emilydickinsonmuseum.org

Joshua Torrance (2020-2020, 1st Term)
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield, CT
jtorrance@webb-deane-stevens.org

Gennie Truelock (2019-2021, 2nd Term)
Workman & Temple Family Homestead Museum, City of Industry, CA
g.truelock@homesteadmuseum.org

Jessica Welch (2019-2021, 1st Term)
Manoa Heritage Center, Honolulu, HI
jessica@manoaheritagecenter.org

Jamie Melissa Wilms (2019-2021, 2nd Term)
Denver Firefighters Museum, Denver, CO
jamie@denverfirefightersmuseum.org

Lisa Worley (2020-2022, 2nd Term)
Historic Ford Estates, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI
lworley@fordhouse.org

Ahmad Ward (2020-2022, 1st Term)
Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island, SC
award@exploremitchelville.org

AASLH Staff Contact
Bethany Hawkins, Chief of Operations
hawkins@aaslh.org
615-320-3203

Historic House Museum Forum

Looking for a way to connect with Historic House Museum colleagues across the country? The Historic House Museum Affinity Community discussion forum is a place where history practitioners can ask questions, share advice, and stay up-to-date with their peers. Please click the “Join the Community” button above to be directed to the AASLH Community Center to get involved with the Historic House Museum Affinity Community or click here.

Historic House Museum Resources

Keep up with historic house museum blogs on the AASLH blog.

Browse historic house museum resources in the AASLH Resource Center.

Join the Community.

Recent historic house museum publications from AASLH:

The Care and Display of Historic Clothing
By Karen M. DePauw
2017

Registration Methods for the Small Museum (5th ed.)
By Daniel B. Reibel, revised by Deborah Rose Van Horn
2017

Landscapes and Gardens for Historic Buildings (3rd ed.)
By Rudy J. Favretti and Joy Putman Favretti
2017

Interpreting Agriculture at Museums and Historic Sites
By Debra A. Reid
2017

Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites
By Michelle Moon
2015

Environmental Sustainability at Museums and Historic Sites
By Sarah Sutton
2015

Preventive Conservation for Historic House Museums
By Jane Merritt and Julie A. Reilly
2010

New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the Long-Term Preservation of America’s Historic Houses
By Donna Ann Harris
2007

Community Events

Historic House Calls
In 2013, the Community began Historic House Calls – which give staff and volunteers working in historic house museums the chance to hear from a leading expert on a topic related to historic sites and ask questions about that topic. The AASLH Historic House Affinity Group offers these quarterly at no charge for AASLH members. Check back often for upcoming House Calls and learn about previous ones.

Historic House Museums Issues and Operations Workshop
AASLH conducts a professional development workshop geared specifically to historic house museums. The Historic House Museums Issues and Operations workshop provides hands-on, practical information for new directors, dedicated volunteers, board members, and staff at historic houses.

AASLH Annual Meeting Affinity Breakfast or Luncheon
Each year the AASLH Annual Meeting includes numerous sessions that focus on the unique challenges present in historic house museums. And, the Historic House Affinity Breakfast or Luncheon has provided the opportunity for professionals to network, as well as gain valuable information from the field on current trends, best practices, and pressing issues in historic house museums.