Donna Ann Harris
Saving Houses, Saving Legacies: New Futures for House Museums

Donna Ann Harris received the 2003 Kress Mid-Career Grant for her project “Saving Houses, Saving Legacies: New Futures for House Museums”. The research and findings of this project led Ms. Harris to write the book New Solutions for House Museums: Ensuring the Long-Term Preservation of America’s Historic Houses, published in 2007. A “must read” in both the house museum and historic preservation fields, this book is being used in graduate school classes in museum studies, historic preservation and public history programs across the country.

The book jacket blurb reads: “A generational shift is occurring at historic house museums as board members and volunteers retire and few young people are taking their place. These landmarks are also plagued by serious deferred maintenance and few have any endowment whatsoever. What will happen to these sites in the next ten years? Ms. Harris provides a decision-making methodology as well as a dozen case studies of house museums that have made a successful transition to a new owner or user to assure the continuing preservation of the landmark for generations to come.”

Harris_NewSolutions_c1Donna has published articles about reuse of historic house museums in History News (the quarterly magazine of the American Association for State and Local History) and Forum Journal (the quarterly journal from the National Trust for Historic Preservation) from her research for the book.

Published by AltaMira Press in 2007, Donna’s book is part of a joint publishing agreement between AltaMira Press and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) to identify important books in the field. Learn more about Donna Ann Harris at