Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / AASLH
Trim: 6¼ x 9¼
978-0-7591-2139-3 • Hardback • September 2012 • $112.00 • (£86.00)
978-0-7591-2140-9 • Paperback • September 2012 • $46.00 • (£35.00)
978-0-7591-2141-6 • eBook • September 2012 • $43.50 • (£33.00)
Gerald George is a professional writer and editor. He served as director of the American Association for State and Local History from 1978 to 1987.
Carol Maryan-George is an experienced museum professional and archivist who has held positions at numerous historic sites and museums, including Old Sturbridge Village and the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of African Art.
A Quick and Simple Summary of What’s In This Book
PART ONE: The Big Questions
Chapter One: What Makes a Good Museum?
Chapter Two: How Can You Finance It?
Chapter Three: Where Can You Get Help?
PART TWO: Nuts and Bolts
Chapter Four: Analyze for Essentials
Chapter Five: Organize for Operation
Chapter Six: Plan for Activities
Chapter Seven: Recruit the Human Resources
Chapter Eight: Now Will It Really Work?
PART THREE: Alternatives
Chapter Nine: And If You Don’t Want to Do All That?
Chapter Ten: And If You Are Planning a Historic House Museum?
PART FOUR: Some Basic Documents
A. Basic Organization Chart
B. Board Membership Responsibilities Agreement
C. Sample Museum Bylaws
D. Sample Position Description for a Director
E. Sample Certificate of Gift
F. Standard Object Cataloging Record
About the Authors
For anyone thinking of launching a museum, historical society, or similar organization, Starting Right is the place to begin. The authors are knowledgeable, the scope is comprehensive, the advice is sound, the writing is clear, and the examples and sample documents are models. Starting Right is also a useful tool for museum studies students, a meaningful guide for trustees of existing museums, and a helpful review for museum professionals.
— G. Rollie Adams, President and CEO, The Strong
A museum is "an organization for valuing and explaining real things." This volume on the practical tasks necessary to create such organizations was first published in 1986 by George and coauthor C. Sherrell-Leo, who improved it with a second edition in 2004. Now, taking advantage of current technology, writer/editor George and museum professional/archivist Maryan-George present a third edition with more improvements. Organized into ten chapters in four parts that cover all aspects of museum operations, this resembles an efficient recipe book written for ready understanding by interested amateurs and illuminated by frequent pithy examples and introductions of technical terms. Part 1, "The Big Questions," addresses what makes a good museum. In part 2, "Nuts and Bolts," practical considerations include funding and legal hurdles. Part 3 is titled "Alternatives," and part 4 is "Some Basic Documents." Rather than simply encouraging readers to become involved with the comprehensive tasks involved with starting a museum, the authors ask readers to think about each step to ensure their readiness to do the research, handle financial structuring, acquire collections of "real things," attract proper staff and reliable volunteers, fix up a building, and more. Chapters include extensive lists of helpful resources, providing information about each step in the creative process. Following the suggestions made in these accessible pages should help courageous museum builders "start right." Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
— Choice Reviews