A stack of books and binders is shown behind a purple banner with the text

Leadership and Administration for History Organizations

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

History museum leadership is more complex and demanding than ever before, requiring updated and innovative ways to meet mission and keep organizations healthy. Thoughtful, intentional museum administration and leadership matters, regardless of the size or focus of your organization.

During the eight weeks of this course, modules addressing governance and administrative structures, nonprofit status and the public trust, mission and vision, the relationship between board and staff, including their roles and responsibilities; strategic planning, human resource development and management, and leadership will be covered.

The course is divided into eight weekly segments and includes a combination of topical reading assignments and related weekly assignments and online chats. A final course assignment is due the last week of class.

  • Week 1: Course overview; an inside look at nonprofits, public trust and governance
  • Week 2: Museum Boards, Their Roles, Responsibilities, Expectations, and Their Relationship to Museum Staff
  • Week 3: The Importance of Museum Vision and Mission
  • Week 4:  Administrative and Management Responsibilities, Relationships, Structures, Systems and Networks
  • Week 5:  Human Resource Management – Building Effective Teams and Mentoring
  • Week 6:  Why Leadership Matters, At All Levels
  • Week 7:  Charting Your Museum’s Future and Measuring Effectiveness
  • Week 8:  Putting It All Together: Where the Field is Heading and How You Fit In

Details

COURSE DATES: March 2 - April 26, 2020

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 - February 23, 2020; 20 participant limit

REGISTER HERE

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Weekly one-hour online chats (schedule to be determined based on student availability); weekly assignments; final course assignment. Students should expect to spend 3-4 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: Two required texts: Leadership Matters: Leading Museums in an Age of Discord, Second Edition, Anne W. Ackerson and Joan H. Baldwin, 2019 and Museum Administration 2.0, Hugh H. Genoways and Lynne M. Irleland, Revised by Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, 2016. (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.)

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Participant Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of Leadership and Administration including the following:

  • the public trust role and governance structure of most nonprofit museums;
  • the importance of museum mission, vision, change, and strategic planning;
  • the major administrative and leadership roles and responsibilities of the board and staff;
  • the key issues in human resource management, including building effective teams
  • why leadership matters at all levels;
  • charting your museum’s future and measuring effectiveness; and
  • where the museum field is heading in the future.

Who Should Take This Course

Successful participants will be individuals in institutional leadership positions at the staff, board, and volunteer levels (where volunteers supervise others), who have significant decision-making responsibilities and who have the ability to affect positive, substantive change within their organizations.  This course is not appropriate for students, interns, or volunteers who do not have managerial responsibilities. We recommend that only one person per institution take this course at a time. To read about a participant’s experience, take a look at this blog post by a Leadership and Administration student: Leadership Matters At Every Level.

Instructor

In a career spanning three decades, Anne Ackerson has served as director of several historic house museums and historical societies in central and eastern New York, the director of the Museum Association of New York, and now currently serves as the executive director of the National Council of State Archivists.

In 1997 Anne began an independent consulting practice focusing on organizational development issues for the smaller nonprofit cultural institution. She writes regularly about management and leadership issues for cultural institutions in her blog, Leading by Design. She is a frequent workshop/webinar presenter on issues of museum ethics, executive leadership, financial management, and board roles and responsibilities. In addition to teaching this course, she developed curriculum materials and a webinar on strategic planning for the American Association of State and Local History’s StEPS program, a national standards program for history museums.


An image of a blue card catalog is shown behind a black banner that reads

Online Course: Basics of Archives

Course Description

The newly revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

The course consists of seven lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach
  • Digital Records
  • Digitization

Details

COURSE DATES: January 27 - March 1, 2020

COST: $85 AASLH Members / $160 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 - January 19, 2020

REGISTER HERE

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, self-paced course with instructor feedback

LENGTH: 5 weeks; 15-20 hours to be completed anytime during the five-week course period (dates above).

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Online chat. There are no required times to be online.

MATERIALS: There are no required texts for this course. All materials will be provided.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with archival materials.

Instructor

Charlie Arp has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University where he specialized in archival studies. From 1991 to 2003 he worked at the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) where he held a variety of positions including archival processor, reference archivist, Head of Reference, Assistant State Archivist and State Archivist. As Assistant State Archivist he was the digital projects coordinator and he formed and chaired the Ohio Electronic Records Committee, an interdisciplinary group formed to draft electronic records policy, guidelines, and best practices for state and local governments in Ohio.  As State Archivist he was a senior level manager responsible for the planning, coordination, and administration of the operations of the State Archives including the Local Government Records program and the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor Archives/Library.

In 2003 Charlie was hired by the Battelle Memorial Institute as Enterprise Content Manager. At Battelle Charlie pioneered managing electronic records in lieu of paper records. Charlie also supervised the Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) archives. GLP records fall under FDA regulations to ensure that the records documenting scientific research for substances put in or on humans are created reliably and maintained authentically over time. In 2015 Charlie tested and validated the use of an electronic management program to enable Battelle to create, manage, preserve and use electronic records as part of submissions to the FDA.

In early 2016 Charlie accepted an offer for early retirement from Battelle. Since then he has started an archival and records management consulting firm and authored Archival Basics: A Practical Manual for Working with Historical Collections (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).

Participant Feedback

“This course was exactly what we need to improve our rather small Collection and take it to another step. Thanks for all of the ideas and information. I am especially impressed with how well the course is organized and presented online. The site was very well thought out and presented no problems for me – a slightly challenged computer geek-wanna be.”

“This was a marvelous course and now I have confidence that I can do the work: material to reference and people to communicate with as needed.”

“I just wanted to say thank you for having this course.  It has really helped me decide what direction I want to make my education in and had definitely helped me with some of the smaller preservation jobs I take on at the library.”


Inside a blue block, white text reads AASLH Online Course Caring for Museum Collections. Behind the blue block is a shelf with assorted small toys.

Online Course: Caring for Museum Collections

An AASLH Small Museum Pro! Online Course

Course Description

This eight week course will deal with the physical care and preservation of your museum collections. This practical course will cover how collections age and deteriorate, handling collections, storage requirements, environmental considerations, housekeeping, and risk management.

Each week of this course contains a narrative discussion of a topic in the form of Lessons. The lessons and web-based readings, combined with your professional experiences, will provide you with a grounding in the week’s topic.

Details

COURSE DATES: January 27 - March 22, 2020

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 1, 2019 - January 19, 2020; 30 participant limit

REGISTER HERE

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course 

LENGTH: 8 weeks 

PARTICIPATION: Weekly readings and exercises; Weekly forum discussions; Four real-time online chats - schedule to be determined by the instructor at the start of the course - if you are unable to attend a chat you can read the transcript and then post your thoughts/questions in the General Forum; Students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern. There are no required texts for this course. All other materials will be provided.

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.

Participant Outcomes

After completing this course, participants will understand principles and best practices of physical care and preservation of museum collections including the following:

  • Know the major causes of deterioration for museum objects and how to use that information to enhance long-term preservation;
  • Know how to handle objects in the safest way;
  • Know how to examine and document the condition of objects in your collections;
  • Know how to display your collections in a way that prolongs their life;
  • Know how to store and house your collections in the way that best preserves them;
  • Understand the importance of environmental control for the preservation of your collections;
  • Know the best ways to clean your museum; and
  • Know how to perform a risk assessment of your museum and use it to write a disaster plan.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with conservation of collections. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.

Instructor

Rebecca Elder is an experienced cultural heritage preservation consultant who helps clients find practical and achievable solutions to care for their history collections. She collaborates with libraries, museums, archives, municipalities and families to tailor preservation plans to their resources and timelines.

In 2014, Rebecca founded Rebecca Elder Cultural Heritage Preservation to provide preservation advice to clients holding history collections. Rebecca has also worked at Amigos Library Services, the Harvard University Libraries and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Rebecca received her MSIS and a Certificate of Advanced Studies for Conservation of Library and Archival Materials from the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, and now is adjunct faculty at the iSchool, teaching Preservation Management and Treatment Techniques for Bound Materials.  She also serves as coordinator for the National Heritage Responders, a team of volunteer conservators and allied professionals who respond to disasters.

Rebecca is a Professional Associate member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. She also engages in professional service with the American Institute for Conservation, the Society of American Archivists, the Society of Southwest Archivists, and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums.

Rebecca lives in Austin, TX with her four cats: Frankie, Princess Snowball, Thingy and Tucker the Most Interesting Cat In The World (@heytuckercat on Instagram). She knits obsessively, collects smashed pennies, and isn’t afraid to admit that she loves 1970s white polyester jumpsuit Elvis.  Looking to connect? Head to www.elderpreservation.com. She’ll be glad you did.


Live Webinar: Beyond the Spreadsheet: Finance and Organizational Priorities

Many of us recognize the utility of financial management, but struggle with how to best engage it with other organizational activities like strategic planning, operational needs related to programming and community engagement, messaging, and preparation for institutional change. This webinar helps participants foresee and tackle challenges of incohesive financial planning, such as fragmentation within the institution (the “silo effect”), lack of proper fundraising strategy, and potentially weak and even uncompliant organizational management.

In this 75-minute webinar, instructor Becky Beaulieu, author of Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017) will help participants learn to identify financial priorities as they relate to institutional needs and goals. She will also address building buy-in amongst internal and external stakeholders to best position your organization for financial stability and strong partnerships.

This webinar is designed for participants of all levels, including staff, volunteers, and board members.

This webinar is part of the StEPs Lab series of online continuing education offered to both StEPs program participants and all others interested in the topic of financial management. This is StEPs Lab 19.

Details:

DATE: December 12, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:15 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 Members / $65 Nonmembers / $15 discount for StEPs participants with promo code found on StEPs Community website

We will record this event. Access the Recorded Webinar in the AASLH Resource Center after the event has passed. Registrants of this event receive complimentary access to the recording in their Dashboard. 

Closed captioning is provided for this event.

REGISTER HERE

Participant Outcomes:

After taking part in this webinar, participants will:

  • Learn how to engage financial systems with organizational planning.
  • Ensure effective alignment between financial best practices and the needs and responsibilities of paid/unpaid staff and board members.
  • Become more familiar with standards related to financial management and learn best practices for meeting those standards.

Speaker:

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Rebekah Beaulieu, Ph.D. is the Director of Florence Griswold Museum, an art museum, National Landmark historic house, and thirteen acres of gardens and grounds in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Becky is on the boards of the New England Museum Association and Connecticut Humanities, on the faculty of AASLH’s History Leadership Institute, and a member of the AASLH Finance Committee. She is an AAM Accreditation Commissioner and board member for the AAM Historic Houses and Sites Professional Network.


Webinar: Introduction to Audio, Visual & Film Media and Their Care

Join us for a lively overview of the many types of media & materials that comprise audiovisual media and movie film. The information will be presented in an historical context to give the participants an ability to more accurately identify these types of artifacts that may be in their collections.

How do we care for all these different media? Care & storage practices will be presented along with the various media. A glossary and handouts will help participants to best care for any media & materials in their own space.

Details:

DATE: December 5, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: $40 AASLH Members / $65 Nonmembers

We will record this event. Access the Recorded Webinar in the AASLH Resource Center after the event has passed. Registrants of this event receive complimentary access to the recording in their Dashboard. 

Closed captioning is provided for this event.

REGISTER HERE

Speaker:

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Kim Du Boise is President and Sr. Conservator of PhotoArts Imaging Professionals, LLC in Hattiesburg, MS. Ms. Du Boise has more than four decades’ experience with photographic materials as a photographer, college instructor, printmaker & conservator. Since 2001, Kim and her staff have served clients in more than 35 states and Canada. Projects include conservation treatments, preservation projects, collections assessments, traditional & digital archiving of mixed collections, and the remediation of fire, smoke, water & storm-damaged materials.

She is a Professional Associate of the AIC, active in the MS Gulf Coast Alliance for Response, an approved assessor for the Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program, and serves as an expert on the Connecting to Collections Care forum; all programs of the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC). Ms. Du Boise has served as a collections assessor for museum archives in photographic, audio & visual materials, digital media, carriers & assets for NEH grantees. She is a consultant for small to large museums, archives, and university-based special collections. Kim is an instructor for MuseumStudy.com and gives workshops on photographic and audio-visual materials & collections care at client locations.

Her firm is unique in the southeast U.S. for its mission and services. She and her partner provide conservation, digitization, and restoration for photographic materials, films – negative & positive, individual stills from 35mm up to 11x14, and movies from 8 & 16 mm, sound & silent, B&W to color, negative or positive. Her partner is a member of the AIC Electronic Media Group with specialties in audio materials – records to modern audio discs, movie films to VHS, BETA, and ¾” U-Matic video tapes to digital materials. Ms. Du Boise has experience in A-V media collection assessment and remediation of mold and organic materials on audio & visual tapes/films.

Kim is a member of the Photographic Materials Group, the Conservators in Private Practice, the Electronic Media Group, the Emerging Conservation Professionals Network, and a contributor to the AIC Wiki.


AASLH logo in white against green takes up half the image. On the other half is written

Webinar: New Member Orientation

Are you a new member of AASLH? Interested in AASLH membership? Eager to make the most of your important role in this community? Join AASLH staff for an interactive orientation on the services, programs, events, resources, and networking opportunities available to AASLH members.

As your home for history, we want to ensure you are getting the most value possible from your membership. This webinar will help you become more connected with the AASLH community and find out how we can support your practice of history. There will be plenty of time for any questions about AASLH or our services.

This webinar is free and open to all, but pre-registration is required. A recording of the webinar, slides, and notes will be sent to all registrants after the event. This webinar is offered every other month, so you can also join a future webinar if you want to learn more.

Know someone who is interested in becoming a member or getting more involved in AASLH? Invite them to register!

Details:

Date: November 13, 2019

Time: 3:00 – 4:15 pm Eastern (Please adjust for your timezone!)

Cost: Free for AASLH Members and Nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact flammia@aaslh.org for more information.

REGISTER HERE

About the Instructor:

Darah Fogarty is the Marketing Coordinator at AASLH, where she is responsible for all large-scale communications and manages AASLH’s online presence, social media, and Career Center, all with the goal of improving the AASLH member experience. Darah is a native of Montana and a recent transplant to Nashville, TN. She holds a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Organzational Communication, as well as an MBA from the University of Montana.


The StEPs logo, in which the letters of S-T-E-P-S are typed above a curved brush stroke that is lower on the left and higher on the right. Text below logo reads Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations.

Webinar: Is Your Organization Ready for StEPs?

Assessment programs like AASLH’s StEPs program are road maps. They are a valuable tool for moving an organization forward along a path and helping paid and unpaid staff, volunteers, and board members stay focused as they travel together along that path toward a set of common goals.

Organizations that can connect planning and fundraising to an assessment program gain credibility. Funders like to know that your proposed project is based upon goals that are supported by an assessment program, and that your organization’s progress can be measured.

StEPs is a self-study assessment program open to any museum, historical society, historic house, site, or related organization. It is intended for small- and mid-sized organizations that do not feel ready for other assessment programs, but larger museums may find it useful for prioritizing and as a refresher checklist or training tool. Enrollment in StEPs is a one-time fee of $175 for institutional members of AASLH.

Is your organization ready for StEPs? Join us for this free, one-hour webinar to hear how StEPs can help your organization create a road map for meaningful change.

Speaker: Cherie Cook, AASLH Senior Program Manager

Note: This webinar is for organizations that are considering using the StEPs program. Organizations already enrolled in the program should register for the free webinar, “StEPs Welcome or Refresher" on November 6, 2019:

Details:

DATE: October 9, 2019

TIME: 3:00 - 4:00 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone)

COST: FREE

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact flammia@aaslh.org for more information.

REGISTER HERE

About the Instructor:

Cherie Cook is AASLH Senior Program Manager. Prior to joining the Association, Cherie worked with museums in Oklahoma for more than sixteen years, first as field services coordinator and then as executive director of the Oklahoma Museums Association. Much of Cherie’s work at AASLH focuses on smaller history organizations and is influenced not only by her years in Oklahoma but also her experience as a county historical society curator.


AASLH logo in white against green takes up half the image. On the other half is written

Webinar: New Member Orientation

Are you a new member of AASLH? Interested in AASLH membership? Eager to make the most of your important role in this community? Join AASLH staff for an interactive orientation on the services, programs, events, resources, and networking opportunities available to AASLH members.

As your home for history, we want to ensure you are getting the most value possible from your membership. This webinar will help you become more connected with the AASLH community and find out how we can support your practice of history. There will be plenty of time for any questions about AASLH or our services.

This webinar is free and open to all, but pre-registration is required. A recording of the webinar, slides, and notes will be sent to all registrants after the event. This webinar is offered every other month, so you can also join a future webinar if you want to learn more.

Know someone who is interested in becoming a member or getting more involved in AASLH? Invite them to register!

Details:

Date: September 25, 2019

Time: 3:00 – 4:15 pm Eastern (Please adjust for your timezone!)

Cost: Free for AASLH Members and Nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact flammia@aaslh.org for more information.

REGISTER HERE

About the Instructor:

Darah Fogarty is the Marketing Coordinator at AASLH, where she is responsible for all large-scale communications and manages AASLH’s online presence, social media, and Career Center, all with the goal of improving the AASLH member experience. Darah is a native of Montana and a recent transplant to Nashville, TN. She holds a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Organzational Communication, as well as an MBA from the University of Montana.


Online Course: Collections Management

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.

Details:

DATES: September 9 - November 1, 2019

COST: $195 AASLH Members/ $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: August 1 –  September 5, 2019; 30 person limit

REGISTER HERE

Full Online Course Description:

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Develop a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Develop of identify a collection of objects
  • Develop a standardized set of registration records and forms including inventory, catalog, accession, and loans
  • Learn about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discuss issues related to collections strategies, mission, purpose, and scope of collections
  • Develop a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections

Who Should Attend:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.

Course Materials

Required text: John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2006 (ISBN 10:1-933253-03-07). This text is NOT INCLUDED with your registration. Please order from the book seller of your choice.

Optional Resource: Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small MuseumFourth Edition, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2008 (Paperback ISBN 978-0-7591-1131-8).

Instructor

Dr. Erin Richardson facilitates museums’ and cultural organizations’ capacity for mission delivery, particularly relating to art and artifact collections. With more than twenty years experience working with museum communities at Historic Cherry Hill, Fenimore Art Museum, and the Farmers’ Museum, she started a consulting firm in 2018 to assist museums in solving pressing long-term collection problems so that they may effectively serve their communities. Richardson holds a BA in American Studies from the SUNY Geneseo, a MA in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a PhD in Leadership and Policy from Niagara University.

Small Museum Pro!:

Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.


The 250th Anniversary Is Just Seven Years Away

“Revolution 250 event in Boston Harbor.” Credit: Jim Collins Photography/Revolution 250

By John Marks, Senior Manager of Strategic Initiatives, AASLH

In just seven years, the United States will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution. What will that commemoration look like? And what will it mean for the history community? Over the past several months, AASLH has worked with its 250th Anniversary Task Force to gather the latest information from around the country about the status of planning for the “semiquincentennial.” After surveying the leaders of history organizations in every U.S. state and territory, we are pleased to release our 2019 Annual Report on the 250th Anniversary.

As you’ll see, about half the states in the country have initiated planning in some form. Several states, including Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee, have established state commissions to lead preparations for the anniversary, while others, like New Jersey and Delaware, are leaning more heavily on existing historical commissions to orchestrate these plans. In many states, planning is still in its nascent stages, as stakeholders hold informal conversations and gatherings to determine how best to work together. In other states, no planning at all has been initiated at this time.

Regardless of the status of formal plans, state history leaders are beginning to consider what the 250th anniversary might mean for their community. Some have emphasized the importance of commemorating a truly national history, one that extends beyond the thirteen colonies and the founding era. Other leaders have begun to emphasize the importance of civics, questions of American identity, and other key themes. AASLH’s task force has convened working groups to help provide leadership in several areas of emphasis for the field, including relevance, inclusive history, funding, collections, and education.

The 250th anniversary may seem a long time away, but 2026 will be here before we know it. With strong leadership, communication, and collaboration at this early stage, we can all play an important role in ensuring this anniversary has a lasting impact on the history community and the nation.

You can learn more about AASLH's efforts for the 250th Anniversary at aaslh.org/250th.

Read the 2019 Annual Report on the 250th Anniversary.