(We like the spirit of this image, but cannot vouch for it being good glove protocol or social distancing practice.)

As history organizations around the country adapt to the rapidly evolving public health situation, we’ll be sharing resources and ideas from across the field through our newsletter and Professional Development webinars.

The content posted here is from our weekly e-newsletter, Dispatch, for the week of April 6.

This week’s webinar topics: structural weaknesses in the field and audience engagement. 

This Week
Epidemics and innovation: Smithsonian Magazine takes a look at how epidemics of the past inspired important innovations in America in infrastructure, fundraising, education, and more. Read more.

History organizations and PPE: The news is full of stories about history and cultural organizations donating their supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks to healthcare workers. Read more.

Addressing community needs: In Maryland, the Baltimore Museum of Industry has partnered with MedStar Health to utilize their empty parking lot as a COVID-19 testing site. Read more.

Avoiding museum layoffs: The National WWI Museum in Kansas City is avoiding layoffs and improving collections accessibility by expanding their team dedicated to digitizing thousands of letters, diaries, and journals. Read more.

Collections management assistance: Collector Systems,a cloud-based collections management system, is offering free services to sites affected by COVID-19. Read more.

Returning to normal visitation: Colleen Dilenschneider analyzes when the U.S. public anticipates returning to their regular attendance patterns for cultural organizations, and how it differs across regions. Read more.

Reminder: All AASLH staff are working remotely until further notice. We’re still answering phones and voicemails. If you need to connect with a specific staff member, please email them directly.

History News free digital issue: The latest issue of AASLH’s member magazine is online-only and available free. We are reaching out to serve the entire history community in this time of crisis when people are homebound. This issue features articles on transforming tours, uncovering hidden stories through preservation, self-care for mid-career professionals, and more. Download here.

AASLH Affinity Community forums: The AASLH forum space is up and running. We encourage you to join a community to discuss issues facing your site with colleagues across the nation. Browse and join forums in our Membership Center.

Crisis resources for historical organizations: AASLH has created a landing page of COVID-19 resources, including blog posts, webinars, and external resources from around the field. We’ll keep it updated with the latest news to help you navigate the crisis. Read more.

Empathetic audience engagement: This Friday, our AASLH Conversations webinar with Andrea Jones of Peak Experience Lab will discuss maintaining and expanding relevance in a world where audiences can’t physically visit our sites. Read more.

After the pandemic: “Will our institutions survive in anything like their previous forms? Will our former visitors seek a different kind of experience from what we used to offer?” New on the AASLH blog, Avi Decter and Ken Yellis urge the field to think ahead. Read more.

Collections care during COVID-19: AASLH’s Field Services Alliance offers advice on managing collections during the pandemic. “The following tips can be used by cultural heritage institutions to help ensure that collections remains safe while collections caretakers are away and to prevent collections from becoming a vector for the virus.” Read more.

Share visitation data: AASLH’s “National Visitation Survey” will remain open indefinitely to allow more institutions time to respond. We are asking institutions to submit their 2018 and 2019 visitation figures. Reliable data will ensure we can properly assess the impact of this year’s coronavirus closings. Submit your information here.

Upcoming Events from AASLH
*All in-person events scheduled through May 1 have been cancelled or postponed. AASLH is developing new online events to help practitioners and institutions respond to COVID-19. Please check our calendar for the latest updates.

April 10: Webinar: AASLH Conversations: Empathetic Audience Engagement During a Crisis
April 23: Webinar: Historic House Call: Mission
April 20: Webinar: AASLH Conversations: Planning for an Uncertain Financial Future, Part Two
April TBD: Webinar: How to Spot Opportunity When it is Disguised as Chaos
May 19: Webinar: How to Build Your Own Successful Traveling Trunk Program
May 26: Online Course: Financial Structures and Strategy
June 1: Online Course: Basics of Archives
June 1: Online Course: Leadership and Administration for History Organizations
June 1: Online Course: Caring for Museum Collections

Upcoming Events from Other Organizations
April 8: Webinar on digital content: On Wednesday, April 8, Cuseum will present “How to Craft Meaningful and Mindful Digital Content in the Age of Coronavirus” to help participants understand what they can and should provide to audiences online during this time. Read more.

April 10: Webinar on planning for post-crisis: On Friday, April 10, the International Council of Museums is hosting “Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Museums: Impact, Innovations and Planning for Post-Crisis” with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Read more.