Sustaining Places

Resources for small museums and historic sites


The AASLH has created a workbook for small museums as part of StEPs (Standards for Excellence Program for History Organizations). The StEPs workbook discusses museum missions, governance, audience, interpretation, stewardship, and other aspects of management. StEPs is an assessment program for small and mid-sized history organizations.

Small Museum Toolkit
Written as part of the American Association for State and Local History series, The Small Museum Toolkit, is a series of six short books. The Small Museum Toolkit was published in 2011 by AltaMira Press and written specifically for “small museums are faced with the enormous task of matching the responsibilities of a large museum”. The authors, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko and Stacy Klingler, intend for the books to provide “the starting point for realizing key responsibilities in museum work. Each book stands alone, but as a collection they represent a single resource to jump-start the process of pursing best practices and meeting museum standards.”

The books may be purchased individually (approximately $25; $15 for e-book) or as a set ($150 paperback at, though much of the content is available online through Google Books. For links to the individual volumes, see the links below.

1:  Leadership, Mission, and Governance
2: Financial Resource Development and Management
3: Organizational Management
4: Reaching and Responding to the Audience
5: Interpretation: Education, Programs, and Exhibits
6: Stewardship: Collections and Historic Preservation

Mailing Address

University of Delaware
Museum Studies Program, Sustaining Places
77 E. Main St.
Newark, DE 19711