The first two chairmen of the Museum Trustee Association were George C. Seybolt and Alan L. Cameros. Both were founding members of what was then a new organization. They were instrumental in convincing the Museum Trustee Committee of the American Association of Museums to form a new nonprofit organization which Mr. Cameros incorporated. Mr. Seybolt provided a financial match to an aggregate of contributions raised through the efforts of Mr. Cameros and the committee in the 1980’s. Both of these two leaders provided leadership and guidance for this new organization formed to represent the interests of trustee leadership.
Through the combined efforts of Mr. Seybolt and Mr. Cameros, over two hundred museums affiliated with the new organization and trustees throughout the country joined as both active members and patrons. The MTA became an active force in museum governance. Now the records of the museum world have been enhanced by gifts from both individuals. Mr. Seybolt and Mr. Cameros have both given their files of activities undertaken with the Museum Trustee community from the 1970’s into the 1990’s. Mr. Seybolt created a research collection within the Archives of American Art in 1992 which contained his correspondence, reports, by-laws, minutes of meetings and other materials – both printed and personal. Mr. Cameros’ records created a separate collection of research materials within the Museum Trustee Association augmenting the material brought forth by Mr. Seybolt and carrying on into the early years of the twenty first century. Both collections set out the beginning of the MTA and how it was built upon the early activities of the trustee committee that had initially functioned within the American Association of Museums and then became the Museum Trustee Committee for Research and Development.
It is hoped that when scholars look for material that sets out past activities that have have set the course for where the Museum Trustee Association has arrived today, they will utilize these materials which tell this story of the road that has been traveled over the past 25 years.