For an overview of many aspects of museum work see the ICOM guide Running a Museum: A Practical Handbook, available here in PDF format.
For a succinct and shrewd introduction to the challenges faced by small museums we recommend Candace Tangorra Matelic’s “New Roles for Small Museums” available here (PDF format) and originally published in the Small Museums Toolkit. Matelic considers “why and how small museums, historic sites, and cultural organizations are transforming to address what matters in their communities and becoming more relevant and sustainable organizations.” She wisely recommends that museum leaders “let go of old-school museum models, honestly listen to community ideas, discover what really matters to people, and realign their programs and services in response.” This emphasis on preserving the past while engaging the local community is very much in line with the smallmuseums.ca ethos.
Documentation and Preservation
The US-based Connecting to Collections site provides hundreds of helpful links on artifact documentation and preservation in small museums and historic sites. Sections include Introductions to Collections Care; Managing Collections; Managing the Collections Environment (with general links plus sections on Air Quality, Light, Temperature and Relative Humidity, Pests, Housekeeping and Storage); Increasing Support for Collections Care and Emergency Preparation and Response. The site also provide links on the care of audio-visual materials; books; ceramics and glass; digital materials; metal; natural science specimens; organic materials; paintings; paper and ephemera; plastics; photographs; textiles; and wood. While we cannot vouch for the quality of specific information in all of those links, it provides a helpful overview of information in all of those domains.
For Canada-wide genealogy and family history we recommend the excellent resources of Library and Archives Canada, including this helpful website and a walk-in consultation room at 395 Wellington St., Ottawa. In Ontario we recommend the Archives of Ontario. The Archives Association of Ontario web site hosts the Archeion database, bringing together information about archives from across the province. The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has produced the Ontario Heritage Tool Kit, a series of guides to the heritage conservation process, including the Ontario Heritage Act, the Planning Act, and related programs.
Heritage Canada provides an excellent Find Funding resource with links to sections on Sites/Projects/’Bricks & Mortar’; Leadership and Organizational Development; Research; Publications, Content and New Media Development; Youth Education and Employment and General Funding for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Community.