Historic House Museums

Historic House Museums : A Practical Handbook for Their Care, Preservation and Management

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Historic house museums can be found in nearly every city in the United States and Canada. These are the homes of the earliest settlers, statesmen, frontiersmen, great writers, artists, architects, and industrial magnates. These are the places, carefully saved and preserved, that represent a cultural heritage. Despite their popularity, it is not uncommon to find museums that are in poor repair, their collections neglected and their staffs grossly overworked. Many are run by well-meaning and hard-working volunteers who have little or no professional training. Often they survive on shoestring budgets and are able to present only limited programs. Serving both as a hands-on guide and reference, this book examines these problems, offering practical advice and solutions which can be easily implemented. Its useful "lessons" include governance, where to find help, care of collections, conservation, security, and interpretation-all designed to increase the professionalism of the historic house museum.

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  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 187.96 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 498.95g
  • 01 Mar 1996
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • halftones, line drawings
  • 0195106601
  • 9780195106602
  • 1,340,183

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Review quote

"Carefully written by an experienced and caring museum professional. This book will be an asset to a large number of small museum and historic house museum staffs and volunteers. Butcher-Younghans' book provides a useful and timely document to assist with the ongoing preservation of America's past."-History News "This is an important and welcome book. It offers an almost complete ideal process and manual for the typical house museum board, director, or staff in search for the right thing to do. The information is well-researched and up-to-date...The author addresses many fundamental points which have seemingly been overlooked, ignored, or neglected at most sites. It deserves a reading by all historic house museum people. If only a fraction of the historic house museums in the country implemented most of the proper procedures in this book, our country would experience a welcome revolution in public history and our historic houses would be much better safeguarded for the future."-Maryland Historical Magazine "A timely entry that should serve both paid or volunteer director or trustee well. It is a useful book written in plain English...Her sound advice, if followed, would solve any number of the countless squabbles that too often surround the preservation and care of our nation's treasure of historic homes...A helpful and user-friendly addition for any house museum new or old to use as a guide and reference."-Michigan Historical Review "Packed with good advice...An excellent job for the market for which it is designed."-Museums Journal "This book is...very practical indeed, and it provides most of the basic information that site managers might need to professionalize their organizations...The book remains a useful starting place and a dependable reference for anyone interested in running a smaller historical organization."-Pennsylvania History "This book is invaluable not only to curators of house museums but also for all owners of old houses."-Preservation Notes Newsletter

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Back cover copy

Historic house museums can be found in nearly every city in the United States and Canada. Serving both as a hands-on guide and reference, this book examines the problems often encountered in the establishment and maintenance of historic house museums, offering practical advice and solutions which can be easily implemented.

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