Message from the Chair

Dear Members and Friends of DEMHIST,
Portrait of Timna Seligman

Welcome to ICOM-DEMHIST and to our website. We are the International Committee for Historic House Museums within the larger museum community of ICOM – the International Committee of Museums. Our DEMHIST community boasts around 600 members, including house museum professionals, independent researchers, scholars and enthusiasts, volunteers, and students, and institutions spanning all regions of the world. Together, we strive not only to advocate for house museums but also to foster a collaborative environment where we can learn from and inspire one another, contributing collectively to the museum field in general and house museums in particular, and to the betterment of our world.

Historic house museums cover a wide range of structures, from humble farm buildings to the most gilded of palaces. Our museums, whether they started as private homes, residences of clergy, public structures, or royal palaces all give us a basis from which to tell a story, a strand of the complex narrative that forms our community and society. While we predominantly delve into microhistory and the intricate stories embedded within the collections and structures of our house museums, these narratives concurrently mirror macro histories. The lives and dwellings of our predecessors remind us that we are integral links in the enduring continuum of time and space, compelling us to embrace the responsibility for shaping the future.

DEMHIST extends an open invitation to house museum professionals and students, encompassing directors, curators, educators, researchers, conservators, freelancers, and volunteers alike. Whatever your role, we encourage you to join our international committee – a network characterized by diverse cultures, perspectives, circumstances, and work approaches. Central to our mission is fostering a dialogue that enhances respect and mutual understanding. United by our passion for museums and our collective pursuit of advancing house museums in today’s world, we share a common goal.

DEMHIST works concurrently with ICOM and its strategic plan, placing emphasis on global outreach and diversity, sustainability, and striving towards workable museum solutions for climate action. This is a dynamic process, and your insights are invaluable. We eagerly await your ideas on how we can evolve as a committee, expand our membership and outreach, provide effective learning opportunities, and deepen our collective knowledge. Your suggestions are not only welcome, but vital to our growth.

If you have ideas, whether for conferences, training courses, national meetings, committees, or any other activities, please feel free to reach out to me or one of my fellow board members. We welcome your suggestions.

We are more than a committee; we are a network. We extend a warm invitation for you to join and actively contribute to this community – making it your own.

Welcome to DEMHIST!

Timna Seligman


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