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14 New Museum and Public History Books from AASLH

by Bob Beatty, Chief of Engagement, AASLH on


The AASLH Series at Rowman and Littlefield Publishers is off to a great start. It’s only March, and already in 2017 we’ve released fourteen new titles for order and pre-order. Covering a wide range of subjects from exhibit design to collections care to interpretation, these latest AASLH books include brand new titles and new editions of classic works.

Remember, AASLH members always get 20% off AASLH books. To get your discount, login to our member portal and visit the Members Only page. You can see the full list of books in the AASLH Series here and the full list of AASLH’s Interpreting History Series here.

Have you bought and/or read any of our books? Share a selfie with your AASLH book or a “shelfie” of your collection on Twitter and tag @AASLH for a retweet. Want to write about what you learned from one of our books? Submit a post for our official blog here. Have a great idea for a public history or museum book? Learn how to pitch ideas to us here.

Art and Public History: Approaches, Opportunities, and Challenges

Edited by Rebecca Bush and K. Tawny Paul

Art and Public History: Approaches, Opportunities, and Challenges examines the relationship between art and public history, outlining opportunities, challenges, and insights drawn from recent initiatives. With a special eye towards audience engagement and challenging historical narratives, all of the case studies and projects combine historical interpretation with contemporary and historical forms of visual art in unique and insightful ways.

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Cultural Heritage Tourism: Five Steps for Success and Sustainability

By Cheryl M. Hargrove

Every place has a story to tell, often found in historic sites or cultural traditions of the people who settled or currently live in a community, city, region or state. When these stories and places are shared with visitors, this activity becomes what is known as cultural heritage tourism. Success and sustainability in this growing industry segment requires careful planning and adequate resources. Cultural Heritage Tourism: Five Steps for Success and Sustainability provides detailed instruction through a proven five-step process to help planners, managers and community leaders attract visitors and their spending to your cultural heritage site, attraction, event or destination.

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Landscapes and Gardens for Historic Buildings: A Handbook for Reproducing and Creating Authentic Landscapes, Third Edition

By Rudy J. Favretti and Joy Putman Favretti

It’s been more than forty years since the second edition of this landmark guide to the preservation and restoration of gardens and landscapes at historic sites was published. Since the last edition came out, author Rudy Favretti, the nation’s foremost authority in this area, has worked on many significant sites including both Monticello and Mount Vernon. New to this edition are: personal case studies from the authors’ extensive experience in landscape restoration-preservation, an in-depth look complete with color images of the archaeological excavations at Bacon’s Castle and Monticello in Virginia, seventy-three illustrations including eight color photos, an enlarged and comprehensive bibliography, fully updated and added chapters based on new and emerging information in the field.

Introduction to Public History: Interpreting the Past, Engaging Audiences

By Cherstin M. Lyon, Elizabeth M. Nix, and Rebecca K. Shrum

Introduction to Public History: Interpreting the Past, Engaging Audiences is a brief foundational textbook for public history. It is organized around the questions and ethical dilemmas that drive public history in a variety of settings, from local community-based projects to international case studies. This book is designed for use in undergraduate and graduate classrooms with future public historians, teachers, and consumers of history in mind.

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Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums, Third Edition

By Edward P. Alexander, Mary Alexander, and Juilee Decker

Here is a complete introduction to the history of museums, types of museums, and the key roles that museums play in the twenty-first century. Following an introductory chapter looking at what a museum is today, Part I looks at the history and types of museums. The second part of the book explores the primary functions of museums and museum professionals. The final chapter looks at the museum profession and professional practices. Throughout, emphasis is on museums in the United States, although attention is paid to the historical framing of museums within the European context. The new edition includes discussions of technology, access, and inclusivity woven into each chapter, a list of challenges and opportunities in each chapter, and “Museums in Motion Today,” vignettes spread throughout the volume in which museum professionals provide their perspectives on where museums are now and where they are going.

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Encyclopedia of Local History, Third Edition

Edited by Amy H. Wilson

The Encyclopedia of Local History addresses nearly every aspect of local history, including everyday issues, theoretical approaches, and trends in the field. This encyclopedia provides both the casual browser and the dedicated historian with adept commentary by bringing the voices of over one hundred experts together in one place. Brand-new to this edition are critical topics covering both the practice of and major current areas of research in local history such as “Digitization,” “LGBT History,” museum theater,” and “STEM education.” Also new to this edition are graphics, including 48 photographs.

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Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums, Second Edition

By Alice Parman, Ann Craig, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis

Since its publication in 2008, Exhibit Makeovers has been a useful do-it-yourself handbook for museum staff and volunteers. Exhibit Makeovers is a workbook that provides grounding in interpretive principles, how-to-advice, step-by-step guidance, and moral support for in-house exhibit planning and design. The revised and expanded 2nd edition preserves the supportive tone and easy-to-follow steps that make the original Exhibit Makeovers so user-friendly. Significant revisions—especially in the technology arena—and additions make this new edition a must-have addition to any museum’s toolkit.

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Interpreting Agriculture at Museums and Historic Sites

By Debra A. Reid

Interpreting Agriculture in Museums and Historic Sites orients readers to major themes in agriculture and techniques in education and interpretation that can help you develop humanities-based public programming that enhance agricultural literacy. Case studies illustrate the ways that local research can help you link your history organization to compelling local, national (even international) stories focused on the multidisciplinary topic.

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Interpreting Maritime History at Museums and Historic Sites

Edited by Joel Stone

Interpreting Maritime History at Museums and Historic Sites lays the groundwork for keeping this heritage alive in museums and historic sites. It provides the broadest spectrum of discussion and direction for those approaching new installations, projects and programming. Highlights of its wide-range include: historic vessels and shipbuilding; freshwater maritime history, including a focus on regionalism; maritime archaeology, including shipwrecks; scientific history, including the environment; recreational history, including rowing, fishing, racing, and cruising; lighthouses and lifesaving stations.

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Museum Operations: A Handbook of Tools, Templates, and Models

By Samantha Chmelik

Today’s accelerated pace of decision-making combined with the emphases on accountability and transparency has created the need for analytical tools and templates to support the decision-making process of museum staffs and boards. Museum Operations: A Handbook of Tools, Templates, and Models contains research and analytical tools, templates, and models – giving museum professionals processes and procedures for analyzing information and making decisions that are then easily explainable to staff, board members, donors, patrons, and other stakeholders.

The Care of Prints and Drawings, Second Edition

By Margaret Holben Ellis

The 2nd edition of The Care of Prints and Drawings provides practical, straightforward advice to those responsible for the preservation of works on paper, ranging from curators, facility managers, conservators, registrars, collection care specialists, private collectors, artists, or students of museum studies, visual arts, art history, or conservation. A greater emphasis is placed on preventive conservation, a trend among collecting institutions, which reflects the growing recognition that scarce resources are best expended on preventing deterioration, rather than on less effective measures of reversing it.

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