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Museums 101

Mark Walhimer

Looking for an A-Z, one-stop, comprehensive book on museums? Wish you were able to have one of the world’s leading museum consultants spend a couple of days with you, talking you through how to start a museum, how museums work, how to set up an exhibit, and more? If so, Museums 101 is the answer to your wishes.

In one short volume, Mark Walhimer covers:

• Essential Background, such as what is a museum, a quick history of museums, and 10 steps to starting a museum
• Operational Basics, such as branding, marketing, strategic planning, governance, accessibility, and day-to-day operations
• What goes on behind the scenes in a museum, ranging from finances to fundraising to art handling, exhibit management, and research
• The Visitor Experience, planning a museum, designing exhibits for visitors, programming, and exhibit evaluation.

Features that even the most experienced museum professionals will find useful include a community outreach checklist, a fundraising checklist, a questionnaire for people considering starting a new museum, and an exhaustive, well-organized list of online resources for museum operations. The book’s contents were overseen by a six-member international advisory board.

Valuable appendixes you’ll use every day include a museum toolbox full of useful forms, checklists, and worksheets, and a glossary of essential museum-related terms. In addition to the printed book,
Museums 101 also features a companion website exclusively for readers of the book. The website— museums101.com—features:

• links to essential online resources in the museum world,
• downloadable sample documents,
• a glossary,
• a bibliography of sources for further reading, and
• photographs of more than 75 museums of all types.

Museums 101 Advisory Board
• Jim DeMersman, Executive Director, Museum on Main, Pleasanton, California,
United States of America
• David L. Godfrey, C.P.A., Allison & Godfrey, Certified Public Accountants,
Norwalk, Connecticut, United States of America
• Van A. Romans, President, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,
Fort Worth, Texas, and Board of Trustees, American Alliance of Museums,
United States of America
• Sergey Solovyev, Ph.D., Department of Greek & Roman Antiquities, The
State Hermitage Museum, Russia
• Alison Spence, Exhibitions and Loans Registrar, National Museum of Australia,
Canberra ACT, Australia
• Audrey Vermette, Director of Programs and Public Affairs, Canadian Museums
Association, Ontario, Canada
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 254Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-3017-0 • Hardback • May 2015 • $79.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4422-3018-7 • Paperback • May 2015 • $32.00 • (£22.95)
978-1-4422-3019-4 • eBook • May 2015 • $31.99 • (£22.95)
Mark Walhimer’s company, Museum Planning, LLC, specializes in the planning, design, and management of interactive educational experiences. Walhimer started his firm in 1999 to assist startup and expanding museums with exhibition design, art handling, project management, fabrication, and installation. He has completed more than 40 projects worldwide for an international clientele that includes science centers, art museums, history museums, libraries, and corporations. Projects include “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock,” a traveling exhibition that opened on Ellis Island in October 2011 and the Trans Studio Science Center opened summer 2012 in Bandung, Indonesia. Prior to starting his company, Walhimer held positions at Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California; the Children's Museum ofIndianapolis; and Liberty Science Center.

Walhimer has a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and a master’s degree in industrial design and exhibition design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Chapter 1: Defining a Museum
Chapter 2: A Quick History of Museums

Chapter 3: The Integrated Museum
Chapter 4: Starting a Museum
Chapter 5: Museum Governance
Chapter 6: Museum Feasibility Studies
Chapter 7: Museum Planning Strategies

Chapter 8: Collections
Chapter 9: The Museum Building
Chapter 10: Museum Exhibition Development/Curation
Chapter 11: Exhibition Design and Fabrication
Chapter 12: Museum Programming: Education

Chapter 13: Museum Finances
Chapter 14: Museum Fundraising
Chapter 15: Museum Marketing
Chapter 16: Museum Project Management
Chapter 17: Museum Evaluation
Chapter 18: Museum Operations
Chapter 19: Museum Accessibility
Chapter 20: Museum Research
Chapter 21: Collections Care
Chapter 22: The Museum of the Future
Chapter 23: Putting Your Museum Online
Chapter 24: Working in Museums

American Alliance of Museums: Code of Ethics for Museums
Sample Bylaws
American Alliance of Museums: Developing a Mission Statement
Sample Museum Constitution
Sample Museum Feasibility Template
Sample Board Member Responsibilities
Sample Policy for Donations of Objects
Sample Donor Questionnaire
Sample Museum Exhibit Sponsorship Agreement
Timing and Tracking Study
Visitor Exit Interview
Museum Job Descriptions
Sample Museum Director Job Description
Object Cataloging Record
Museum Exhibition Design Process

Walhimer, founder of Museum Planning LLC and host of the blog Museum Planner, has assembled a fine how-to guide for creating and organizing all varieties of museums. The author guides readers through the process, covering the initial vision, formation of a board of directors, the museum feasibility study, the building's design and layout, and successful exhibition planning. The work includes sections on fundraising, marketing, and programming but keeps its focus on the essentials: the museum's mission, its responsibility to visitors, and the ethics of proper stewardship of collections. Walhimer frequently illustrates the point he is making with one or two tangible examples of successfully applied techniques, as well as offering cautionary tales. The book's five sections are particularly logical and well organized. The ‘Museum Toolbox’ section provides a comprehensive collection of seminal resources, sample documents, and useful templates. Each chapter includes a list of references, mostly of resources available online. An accompanying website with updated information and a blog is also available to readers wanting more. Rather than a reference work per se, this book is more suitable for circulating collections, and it will appeal for museum-studies students and anyone considering a career in the field. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates; general readers; professionals/practitioners.

The great value of Museums 101 is that it outlines the basics of exhibition development, collections care, evaluation, and more, in a way that acknowledges that museum work requires specialized expertise. Don’t try to re-invent the museum, it tells the collector deciding to build a museum from scratch, or the businessman suddenly appointed to the board. There are things you need to know. Museums have figured out a lot. Read this book to get up to speed.
Curator: The Museum Journal

As its title implies, this is an introduction to the world of museums, with 24 chapters divided into four sections: Museum Background, Creating an Integrated Museum, Exhibitions, and Behind the Scenes. Also included is a ‘Museum Toolkit’ which provides sample documents of use to museum personnel. The author outlines his hoped-for readership: ‘museum founders, new museum staff and volunteers, those wishing to work in museums, new board members, students, and those wishing to contract services with a museum.’ From finances and marketing, to creating an online presence and project management, this volume presents the key elements of museum operation. An additional feature of this volume is access to a companion website with additional resources on the subject. Libraries serving any of the readers listed by the author, or readers simply interested in how museums ‘work,’ will want to have this volume. Its clear language and excellent organization will make it accessible to all levels of their patrons.
American Reference Books Annual

Museums 101 is a straight forward ‘how-to’ book for people new to the field of museums and for those interested in entering professions in the museum field. A perfect book to hand to a new volunteer, new staff or board member and say ‘here are the basics.
Van A. Romans, president, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, and member of the Board of Trustees, American Alliance of Museums

Museums 101 is very interesting and useful for those managing museums or interested in organizing one.
Sergey Solovyev, Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, The State Hermitage Museum, Russia

Museums 101 is an amazing and comprehensive resource, full of great insights of how museums work.
Alison Spence, Exhibitions and Loans Registrar, National Museum of Australia

In addition to the printed book, Museums 101 also features a companion website exclusively for readers of the book. The website includes:
  • links to essential online resources in the museum world,
  • downloadable sample documents,
  • a glossary,
  • a bibliography of sources for further reading, and
  • photographs of more than 75 museums of all types.