Some settlements made it big, many more peaked as small towns, and others became geographical ghosts—and what made the difference might be a mere coincidence, a minor geographical feature, or a small cultural distinction.

We tend to know more about cities, but it’s our small towns that still determine the cultural and economic components of American policy, as the agglomerations of these towns often outvote the interests of large cities. How did these small towns become what they are, sometimes in spite of the political will of the cities? Will they change? Should they change? Answers to these and many other questions live in the histories of small towns, which are often stored in their museums.

Small town museums are far behind their big-city cousins in funding, attendance, and online presence. In line with our mission, we support small-town museums by putting them on the digital map—in Wikipedia, for example—getting them more recognition. This may lead to more tourists, decreasing the chance that such a local museum or a historical society might close before ever sharing its knowledge to the digital world.

Your small gift can help put one more museum on the digital map—which may be the difference between its life and death. Donate

MOST bottom