Essential Resources: 13 Documents to Strengthen Your Historical Organization

This collection of resources addresses the challenges and opportunities faced by institutions preserving and interpreting state and local history, regardless of size, budget, or subject matter. These six topics, drawn from our  Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (StEPs), are essential for every organization to understand and consider as they plan innovative exhibits, engaging programs, and meaningful projects to increase the relevance of history for diverse audiences. Below you can explore each resource individually or download the entire collection. 

Each resource is tagged by StEPs topic. 

  • Mission, Vision, and Governance (MVG)
  • Audience (AUD)
  • Interpretation (INT)
  • Stewardship of Collections (COLL)
  • Stewardship of Historic Structures and Landscapes (HSL)
  • Management (MGMT)

AASLH is a national membership organization that provides resources, courses, webinars, books, and more to guide and serve history practitioners across the country. To learn more about how AASLH can help you do your best history work, visit

Resource List

  • Essential Resources: 13 Documents to Strengthen Your Historical Organization
    A compilation of all 13 essential resources in one download.
  • (MVG) AASLH Statement of Standards and Ethics (2018)
    The following ethical statements and related professional standards are provided for the guidance of all AASLH members and those in the field of history organizations.
  • (MVG) Technical Leaflet 273: Demonstrating Relevance (2016)
    Technical Leaflet #273 by Mark Sundlov addresses the importance of demonstrating relevance and provides some tools to help history organizations succeed in that endeavor. Many of the difficulties that history organizations face have their roots in their failure to demonstrate relevance to their various audiences.
  • (AUD) Technical Leaflet 263: What’s the Big Idea? Using Listening Sessions to Build Relationships and Relevance (2013)
    Technical Leaflet #263 by Janeen Bryant and Kamille Bostick tackles how the Levine Museum of the New South reveals the power and process of using listening sessions to build relationships and relevance. In addition, a case study from the museum’s Latino New South initiative is presented to showcase the success and insights into the Latino audience found through listening.
  • (AUD) Technical Leaflet 272: How to Design Programs for Millennials (2015)
    Technical Leaflet #272 by Aleah Vinick and Rachel Abbott tackles the importance of the millennial audience to the future of museums and historic sites.

Learn More

All of this work and these resources would not be possible without our members. We invite you to join this growing community. Institutional members can add all their staff and volunteers to their profile, so they can share in the benefits of membership.