I am writing to let you know about a great FREE online directory you can all be using to advertise your collections and museums.
MuseumsUSA has listings for many of you who have historical societies and museums with collections open to the public. Those of you with collections in libraries could try to list details of your holdings, too.
In Chicago we also have the Chicago Area Archivists Repository Guide, which I also recommend being listed in.
I met the owner of MuseumsUSA, Larry Petcovic at an IAM conference three years ago. The listings he has for most groups are taken from regional museum directories--in our case from the IAM directory. But those listings were entered a number of years ago. Most of your entries are old and very abbreviated. You can use the online submission form to add a great deal of information and to be sure your web address, hours, staff or contact info is up to date. Take a look at the entry for the 1950s Park Forest House Museum to see how much more detail you could have in this directory. Most of your websites are not even included. When I could see my web statistics, I always had several hits connecting from MuseumsUSA. I believe I have also linked to his site. There have been no strings attached for my museum for the past three years. It took very little time to type in the entry using existing brochure and pr text.
Every time I Google the museum, the MuseumsUSA entry comes up, which means he has good optimization on search engines.
Take a few minutes and take a look at this. If you have not added your repository to the CAA Guide, do that, too! People are looking for content online. They don't know the name of your institution, but they may find you through a detailed content list online.
Archivist, Park Forest Historical Society
Director, 1950s Park Forest House Museum
Virtual Exhibit at www.parkforesthistory.org
Park Forest, IL 60466