Sharing Knowledge and Expertise with the Field

The AASLH book series, co-published with Rowman & Littlefield, addresses issues critical to the field through theoretical and practical texts. We strive to produce the most accessible and relevant works in the public history field, written by practitioners engaged in the same work that you do every day. Our books offer practical guidance, new ideas, comprehensive analysis of current debates and issues, and more. AASLH members always receive 20% off our books at Rowman.com with their membership discount code.

We are continually seeking new voices to share their perspectives and expertise through our book series. AASLH publications connect the people engaged in history work to new questions, ideas, perspectives, and each other. By featuring current issues, trends, and best practices from throughout the history community, our books inform, inspire, challenge, and link together those who preserve and interpret the past. We’ve recently published books on house museums, interpreting women’s history, working as a history consultant, and more. Anyone engaged in history work can write for us; your experiences and knowledge can help others as we strive to offer relevant and timely guidance through our books.

New Books

Change is Required: Preparing for the Post-Pandemic Museum
Avi Decter, Marsha L. Semmel, and Ken Yellis, editors
Paperback $39 Member Price $31.20
Ebook $37 Member Price $29.60
Save 30% with promo code 4F22CHANGE through November 4 at Rowman.com

This is a book about the future of American museums, which were powerfully affected by the nested crises of the pandemic. In every part of the country—and in every type of museum—workers are challenging old assumptions, conventional narratives, and customary practices as they look to the future. In this book, a unique array of 50 museum professionals—representing different disciplines, positions, and experiences—share their thinking about assessing needs and possibilities, managing people and resources, and building productive new relationships with neighbors, communities, and partner organizations.

These authors argue that change is necessary—inside and beyond the museum. It is futile and unproductive to default to the old “normal.” To achieve greater relevance, impact, equity, and inclusiveness, museums need to reconsider their leadership models, organizational culture, internal structures, and community collaborations. Bristling with personal passion, informed by experience, and focused on the future, the essays in this volume convey the urgency to rethink traditional museum practice, offering visionary—yet practical—routes to future museum success in a volatile, complex, and ambiguous world.

Endowment Essentials for Museums
Dr. Rebekah Beaulieu
Paperback $35 Member Price $28
Ebook $33 Member Price $26

A stable and well-managed endowment can be the key to a museum’s financial strength. But how do you establish and maintain an endowment that is right for your organization and its future? With easily accessible language and case studies of real museums to illuminate major points, this book provides guidance on the establishment and oversight of endowments, including how to:

  • Plan for and build an endowment fund
  • Create opportunities to grow the endowment through fundraising and investment management
  • Incorporate endowment management into institutional planning
  • Foster transparency and shared knowledge about endowments between staff, trustees, and community members
  • Evaluate and modify endowments accurately and according to best practices.

Rebranding: A Guide for Historic Houses, Museums, Sites, and Organizations
Jane Mitchell Eliasof
Paperback $36 Member Price $29
Ebook $34 Member Price $27

If you’re part of the leadership team of a historic house museum or historical society, you may have considered rebranding — either renaming your organization or developing a new look – to be more appealing to a younger, more diverse audience or to reflect changes to your mission, interpretation, site, etc. Organizations called “historical society” or “historic house” often get a bad rap. Before potential visitors even know your museum, they may assume it’s not for them, even if you lead progressive, inclusive tours and host innovative programs. Using examples from museums of all sizes across the country, this book helps you decide whether to move forward with a rebranding effort and give you a concrete outline to work from.

Beyond the Bake Sale: Fundraising for Local History Organizations
Jamie Simek
Paperback $45 Member Price $36
Ebook $42.50 Member Price $34

Money is sustenance for most nonprofit organizations, yet many small organizations rely on one-off efforts and get-rich events in place of real fundraising strategies. Just because an organization is small, or volunteer-run, or located in a rural area, does not mean its leaders can’t professionalize their fundraising, establish effective processes, and build genuine relationships that will lead to the ultimate goal: people giving to people. Beyond the Bake Sale: Fundraising for Local History Organizations meets organizations where they are, cutting through all of the assumptions and mumbo-jumbo, taking professional fundraising strategies and scaling them to an accessible level. Designed specifically for small cultural heritage organizations, this book is written with their unique challenges in mind.

Featured Book: October-November

Archives 101
Lois Hamill (2021)
Paperback $48 Member Price $39

Archives 101 is a manual for people who care for historical records, photographs, and collections and a textbook for those who want to learn. Lois Hamill provides practical, step-by-step guidance for managing all facets of archival collections, from acquisition, arrangement, and description to storage and security. The book also offers advice on how to integrate description in PastPerfect software with archival finding aids to optimize the strengths of each.

Archives 101 is written for those who manage cultural collections regardless of their professional education or institution type. This comprehensive, practical, ready reference is authoritative yet accessible to all readers. It addresses all phases in the process of managing cultural collections including use by researchers, for exhibits, work with other specialists such as conservators or appraisers, and more.

Related resources:

Books by Topic

Browse our full catalogue of books here.

AASLH Course Textbooks

Administration and Marketing

Archives

Collections Management

Education and Interpretation

Finances

Historic Houses

Small Museums

Students/Intro to the Field

News and Reviews

Tegan Kehoe’s Exploring American Healthcare through 50 Historic Treasures was featured in the Boston Globe’s book section (January 2022) and received a “highly recommended” review in Choice, the Association of College and Research Libraries premier review journal for undergraduate libraries (September 2022): “The volume will be a great tool for students of public health history, presenting tangible evidence from the late 1700s to the present.”

NCPH’s The Public Historian reviewed Doing Women’s History in Public: A Handbook for Interpretation at Museums and Historic Sites by Heather Huyck, Reimagining Historic House Museums: New Approaches and Proven Solutions edited by Kenneth C. Turino and Max A. van Balgooy, and Interpreting the Environment at Museums and Historic Sites by Debra A. Reid and David D. Vail (May 2021).

Susan Fletcher’s 2020 book  Exploring the History of Childhood and Play through 50 Historic Treasures won first place in the Nonfiction-History, Science, and Research category in the 2021 Colorado Authors’ League Book Awards. This work was also selected by Booklist as one of the top ten sports books of the year (August 2020).

Commemoration: The American Association for State and Local History Guide, edited by Seth C. Bruggeman, was reviewed in NCPH’s The Public Historian (August 2020).

Exploring Women’s Suffrage through 50 Historic Treasures by Jessica Jenkins was reviewed in Booklist. “This unique, fascinating book carries the reader into the struggle surrounding the 19th Amendment, presenting fifty essays about objects related to the people and events that inched the suffragists closer to success” (March 2020).

Prospective Authors

Do you have a book idea?

“Somebody somewhere has solved the problem that bothers you. Somewhere somebody can use your ideas. Here is the meeting place for questions and answers. Send in yours.” AASLH Shop Talk, December 1949

Every history practitioner has expertise and wisdom to share about the tools and techniques they use in their work interpreting state and local history. In your work, chances are at some point you’ve wished for a book, webpage, or colleague to guide you or answer questions about an unfamiliar task or new concept. Maybe you found a book that helped. Maybe you found a book that was almost right, but not written for your small or all-volunteer site. Maybe you found no book at all. We want to publish books that directly address the needs of sites of all sizes doing different kinds of history work. And for that, we need your valuable knowledge gained from hands-on experience in the field, working with visitors and artifacts.

Anyone can write for AASLH. Members, nonmembers, directors, docents, curators, volunteers, retirees, and students all have knowledge to share with the field. Potential authors benefit from the mentorship of our editorial board as they research and write their book, and we especially encourage submissions from first-time and BIPOC authors. The whole process usually takes 12-18 months, and starts with a conversation with the Managing Editor or the submission of an abstract. From there, we can determine if your idea is a fit for our book series and what steps to take next.

Let us know what kind of books you would use in your work, and if you have knowledge to share. Your contribution can benefit colleagues around the country and we look forward to hearing from you.

Contact us

Where to Purchase

AASLH books are sold on our publisher’s website and on Amazon.com. AASLH members receive 20% off at Rowman.com with their membership discount code.

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