Professional Organizations

Professional networks provide critical forums for connecting local organizations to the broader world and work in history museums. The first four organizations listed are those most commonly joined by local historical organizations in Minnesota. Many others are also well worth considering. The Local History Services Office of the Minnesota Historical Society strongly encourages membership in one or more of these associations.

Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums
Dedicated to peers helping peers, MALHM works to foster collaborative local history projects and encourage professionalism among local and specialized historical organizations. MALHM generally meets twice a year at various locations around the state.

Minnesota Association of Museums
MAM fosters communication among Minnesota's museum professionals and provides education and training for paid and volunteer museum staff. The nonprofit organization hosts an annual meeting and other, smaller gatherings throughout the year for museum professionals and volunteers.

American Association for State and Local History
AASLH provides leadership and support for its members engaged in preserving and interpreting state and local history. AASLH membership brings discounts and special rates on many products useful to local historical societies, including books, technical leaflets, regional workshops and PastPerfect Museum Software.

American Association of Museums
The AAM sets standards of excellence for the country's museum community through its professional education, information exchange and accreditation activities. Local historical organizations would benefit particularly from AAM's Museum Assessment Program (MAP), which conducts organizational evaluations useful in strategic planning.

American Historical Association
This membership organization for history professionals serves those in academic settings, museums, libraries and archives, and government and business, spearheading and disseminating historical research.

Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums
At the forefront of living history techniques in museum settings, this organization offers conferences, publications and resource groups useful for those in public programming. Especially notable is Replica Resource List, a guide to the best reproductions.

Association of Midwest Museums
Covering an eight-state region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin), the AMM each year holds its annual conference jointly with that of a member state. AMM offers a 50-percent discount on many of its products and resources.

Midwest Art Conservation Center
MACC is a full-service conservation laboratory serving museums, historical societies, libraries, churches and other cultural institutions as well as private collections. Membership brings discounts on treatment services, assistance with grant writing and free lab reports.

Midwest Open Air Museums Coordinating Council
A regional affiliate of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, MOMCC offers two annual conferences, an excellent magazine, resource groups, an electronic message board and networking opportunities.

National Association for Interpretation
NAI advances the profession of interpreting our natural and cultural heritage, with an emphasis on professional development and certification.

Organization of American Historians
This learned society promotes the study and teaching of the American past through its many activities, including publication of the quarterly Journal of American History.

The Smithsonian Institution
Membership benefits at the Smithsonian Institution, which sets the gold standard for the history museum field, include a 10-percent discount on all products and a subscription to the monthly magazine Smithsonian.

Non-membership resources

Library of Congress
The Library's mission is to make its resources available to the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. Perhaps the most useful link is the American Memory Project, with a wealth of information useful in building contexts for local history.

Minnesota Humanities Center
The MHC coordinates Museum on Main Street (see below), a program from the Smithsonian Institution.

Museum on Main Street
This partnership project of the Smithsonian Institution, state humanities councils and rural museums across America enables rural museums to bring prestigious Smithsonian exhibitions and educational programs to their communities.