Historic House Museums

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:

Rena Lawrence (2022-2024)
Log Cabin Village, Fort Worth, TX
[email protected]

Lisa Worley, Secretary (2022-2024)
Historic Ford Estates, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI
[email protected]

Kelsey Brow (2019-2023)
King Manor Museum, Jamaica, NY
[email protected]

Lenora Costa (2022-2024)
Longue Vue House and Gardens, New Orleans, LA
[email protected]

Matthew Davis (2022-2024)
Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, GA
[email protected]

Andrea Malcomb (2021-2023)
Molly Brown House, Denver, CO
[email protected]

Kelsey Mullen (2021-2023)
Providence Preservation Society, Providence, RI
[email protected]

Victoria Munro (2021-2023)
Alice Austen House, Staten Island, NY
[email protected]

Dakota Russell (2022-2024)
The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association, Salem, MA
[email protected]

Brooke Steinhauser (2020-2022, 1st Term)
Emily Dickinson Museum, Amherst, MA
[email protected]

Jessica Welch (2019-2023)
Manoa Heritage Center, Honolulu, HI
[email protected]

Kelsey Mullen (2021-2023, 1st Term)
Providence Preservation Society, Providence, RI
[email protected]

Victoria Munro (2021-2023, 1st Term)
Alice Austen House, Staten Island, NY
[email protected]

Tonya Staggs (2022-2024)
Historic Castillian Springs, Castilian Springs, TN
[email protected]

Brooke Steinhauser (2020-2024)
Emily Dickinson Museum
[email protected]

Ahmad Ward (2020-2024)
Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head Island, SC
[email protected]

AASLH Staff Contact
Bethany Hawkins, Chief of Operations
[email protected]

Keep up with others working in historic house museums with AASLH’s Historic House Museum Community Google Group. In this group, you can ask questions, share resources and news, and stay connected on the latest trends. To participate, go to the Google Group and click the Ask to Join Group button.

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.

Recent historic house museum publications from AASLH:

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

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

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

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

Interpreting Food at Museums and Historic Sites
By Michelle Moon

Environmental Sustainability at Museums and Historic Sites
By Sarah Sutton

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

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

Community Events

Sustainability, Relevance, and the Future of Historic House Museums: A Virtual Summit
July 11-12, 2023
Download the Preliminary Program

Registration Fee: $85 for members; $99 for nonmembers
In 2002, AASLH, the American Alliance of Museums, the American Architectural Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), held their first joint summit to talk about the future of historic sites. In 2007, the group gathered again to discuss the sustainability of the historic house field. The second meeting resulted in articles, a technical leaflet entitled How Sustainable is Your Historic House Museum, a special issue of NTHP’s Forum Journal, and numerous sessions at conferences. Now in 2023, it is time to ask the question again: how sustainable is the historic house museum field? The virtual summit will build on the work done in 2007 to answer the question of what makes a historic site not only sustainable but relevant in 2023 and beyond. Learn more and register.

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 Conference 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.