Just Published Second Edition New Solutions for House Museums!

This substantially enlarged and expanded second edition of New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the Long-Term Preservation of America’s Historic Houses provides advice for historic site stewards that have concerns about the financial sustainability of their historic house museum and its relevance to its local audience.

Seven new case studies have been added for the second edition. The new case studies reinforce the book’s central argument that not every historic house museum, whether founded 100 years ago or last month, can be sustained long-term. New interviews have been conducted with the ten existing case studies from the first edition to bring them up to date. The new edition adds two new reuse options to the eight introduced in the first edition. This chapter describes how to identify and implement a reuse decision, costs and advisors needed, and tips on decision making. There is a new chapter-long interview with Tom Mayes, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on recent legal and ethical issues facing historic sites. Another new chapter provides advice on the essential role of the historic site’s Board of Directors as the decision maker for any reuse exploration.  The second edition of New Solutions for House Museums contains a new introduction to the second edition, an updated conclusion, bibliography, and index New Solutions for House Museums has been a best seller for the AASLH since it was first published in 2007. We hope the same for the second edition.

Praise for the book

“Donna Harris has made a tremendous contribution to the ways in which we preserve and engage with our history through her work to support and encourage the re-imagining of historic sites and house museums to sustain themselves both culturally and financially. The second edition of New Solutions for House Museums will continue this in even more impactful and dynamic ways.”

— Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Selling off the property is not the only option for struggling historic house museums. In her 2007 book, Donna Harris offered alternatives for cultural organizations, sustainable strategies that honored their commitments to preserving the past. In this new edition, she updates examples to reveal the complexities of these solutions and suggests some new strategies. Moreover, the addition of seven new in-depth case studies include several diverse examples that demonstrate new means of reinvention and sustainability. New Solutions for House Museums, 2nd edition, will help current board members, staff, and the next generation of history advocates think outside the box.

— Jane Becker, Director of Public History, University of Massachusetts Boston

The 10 Solutions discussed in this edition of the book are:  Study Houses; Caretakers; Reprogram for a Mission Based Use;  Co-stewardship Agreements; Mergers and Asset Transfers; Shared Use; Long- and Short-Term Leases, Sale to a New Nonprofit Stewardship Organization with Easements; Sale to a Private Owner with Easements and Donation to Government.

The bulk of the book are a series of 18 case studies of hsitoric sites in the US and Canada that have made a change of use or user at a historic house museum that could no longer be sustained by its owners.  These solutons have been updated for the new edition, adn there are 7 new case studies. Case studies included are:

Historic New England; Caretakers at Historic Sites; Nantucket Historical Association; The 1800 House, Nantucket Massachusetts; C & O Canal Trust, Canal Quarters Program, Hagerstown Maryland; Alice Paul Institute, Mount Laurel New Jersey; Deadwood History Inc. Deadwood South Dakota; Emmett Till Interpretive Center, Sumner Mississippi; Cooper Molera Adobe, Monterey California; Margaret Mitchell House and Atlanta History Center Merger, Atlanta Georgia;  Cliveden and Upsala Merger, Philadelphia Pennsylvania; Massachusetts Historic Curatorship Program; Fairmount Park Conservancy, Philadelphia Pennsylvania;  Heritage Branch, British Columbia Canada;  Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission;  Elfreth’s Alley Association, Philadelphia Pennsylvania; Sale of Upsala by Cliveden Inc., Philadelphia Pennsylvania; Casa Amesti Foundation, Monterey California; and the Adel Historical Museum, Adel Iowa.



978-1-5381-2006-4• Cloth December 2020 • $105.00 • after discount: $73.50

978-1-5381-2007-1 • Paper December 2020 • $48.00 • after discount: $33.60

978-1-5381-2008-8 • eBook December 2020 • $46.00 • after discount: $32.30

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We hope you enjoy the second edition!