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The Fire Museum Seminar

Attendees of the 2010 Fire Museum Network Seminar in Baltimore MD

It is a mix of formal presentations, informal discussions, and tours of local fire and non-fire museum sites…. It’s educational seminars about both operating a museum and firefighting history…. It’s for those who are just starting a fire museum, and those who have been around a while…. It is a time to learn, and a place to see and hear what dozens of other museums are doing (or perhaps what they should be doing)…. It is a chance for you to share problems and solutions, exchange ideas and information, and compare your organization with others…. It is an opportunity network. It is late nights spent discussing how many steam fire engines are left in the country, new exhibit techniques, or the merits of the latest museum collections database program. In short, it's… great friends, great food, and a great fun!

In 1989 the IAFC sponsored an informal "seminar" for fire museums during their large Fire-Rescue International conference. Nine fire museums, from New York to California, attended that first meeting, and by the end of the two-days, all vowed to come back next year. The annual Fire Museum Seminar was born.

Now more than twenty years later the Fire Museum Network has decided to become an autonomous entity, separated from the IAFC in order to better serve our mission.

Before you come...
A few helpful hints, tips, suggestions and reminders of things to bring to the Fire Museum Seminar --

• Dress casual
The Fire Museum Seminar is very casual - (you are welcome to "show your own colors" by wearing a T-shirt from your museum).

• Bring brochures and promotional materials
We encourage you to bring copies of your museum's brochure, newsletter, and any other promotional material for distribution to the Fire Museum Seminar attendees (plan on approximately 40 to 50 people).

You might also want to bring additional copies of your museum's brochure for distribution to the "general attendees" at our Fire Museum Network booth in the exhibit hall (bring as many as you want to spare).

• Bring business cards and a small notepad
Networking-networking-networking -- it's all about networking. Make sure to bring plenty of business cards to pass out. I also find it helpful to bring a small pocket-sized notebook to jot down names, notes, ideas, and make "to-do" lists.

• Bring some photos/video of your museum
Usually there is ample time to talk ("network") with the other Fire Museum Seminar attendees, and we are all interested to see your building, exhibits, apparatus or even what your artifact storage ("junk") room looks like. While photographs are the easiest to show-around, usually we will be able to scroung up a slide projector or TV/VCR if that is what's required.

Past Fire Museum Seminars
(click to view that year's program)

1989 - Indianapolis, IN
1990 - Orlando, FL
1991 - Toronto, ONT.
1992 - Anaheim, CA
1993 - Dallas, TX
1994 - St. Louis, MO
1995 - Louisville, KY
1996 - Kansas City MO
1997 - Dallas TX
1998 - Louisville, KY
1999 - Kansas City, MO
2000 - Dallas, TX
2001 - New Orleans, LA
2002 - Kansas City, KS
2003 - Dallas, TX
2004 - no seminar held
2005 - Indianapolis, IN
2006 - Columbus, OH
2007 - Denver, CO
2008 - Aurora, IL
2009 - Phoenix, AZ
2010 - Baltimore, MD
2011 - Ypsilanti, MI
2012 - Los Angeles, CA
2013 - New York, NY
2014 - Jeffersonville, IN

1997 Fire Museum Seminar attendees pause for a
group photo while visiting the "Old Tige"
Dallas Firefighters Museum

Fire Museum Seminar attendees tour the Kansas City Fire Museum in 1996

In years past the Fire Museum Network has staffed
a booth on the convention floor to promote our
organization and fire museums in general.

If you'd like more information about our organization,
David Lewis,