Instructions for the CHIN-Hosted Email Distribution Lists (Listserv)

Instructions on how to subscribe.

Descriptions of the lists

Canmuse-L: This bilingual list provides an opportunity for discussion, information requests, and dissemination of information of interest to heritage professionals in Canada. All museum-related topics are welcome. Canmuse-L is the largest list of its kind in Canada and one of the largest in the world.

Onmuse-L: This list is reserved for members of the Ontario Museum Association (OMA). The OMA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) for launching this Listserv on its server.

Fireweed-L: This electronic mailing list provides a forum for discussion, information requests, and dissemination of information of interest among Yukon heritage professionals. Created in 2003, this discussion group is provided as a free service to the Yukon museum community by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN).

Some background on this communication tool

An electronic mailing list is an automated email system that takes messages sent to a single address and distributes a copy to all subscribers in the group. Once a user has joined a list, participating is as easy as replying to an email. Ongoing discussions are usually organised by topic, called threads, much like an electronic bulletin board. These un-moderated tools allow museum professionals to stay abreast of best practices and ask questions to their colleagues.

For over two decades, CHIN has made a number of email distribution lists available to the museum community. During our most recent consultations at the provincial museum association conferences, members stressed the importance of being able to connect and communicate with one another. Based on this feedback from the community, CHIN is committed to supporting Canadian museums and heritage institutions by offering networking opportunities like the Listservs.


In case you are new to such email discussion groups (commonly called “Listservs”), here is information to get you started:

To Join a List

To Send an Email to all Subscribers of that List

  • You can post to the Listserv by sending your message to one of the email addresses below:
  • When you create a new thread all the other members of the group will receive your post. Likewise, when you reply to a message, it will be distributed to all (and that without having to use the 'reply all' function). It is not possible to send an email to a single recipient (for example: to the list owner or to the author of the last post) using the Listserv.
  • Your email address will only be visible to others when you send emails to the group.
  • When creating new threads to various groups, we recommend that you only post to one group at a time, to minimize the cross-posting.

To Unsubscribe from a List

When Changing Your Email Address

  • If you change your e-mail address, unsubscribe first from the Listserv (as described above) by sending an email from your old  address. Then subscribe again by sending another email from your new  e-mail account. This process must be repeated for every list you are subscribed to.
    • Alternatively, if you no longer have access to your old email account (or if your email is automatically being forwarded to your new address), please send an email to so that we can manually remove your old email address from the list. This request may take a few days to process.
    • More experienced Listserv users may prefer to use the “CHANGE [insert list name] [insert your new email address]” function. However, for security reasons, that command must be sent from your old email address. So again, if your old email account is inactive, only the list administrator will be able to remove your previous address from the list of subscribers.

Additional Commands for Advanced Users

  • Optionally, these email lists are available in digest form. If you wish to receive the digested version of the postings, send a “SET [insert list name] DIGEST” (write this text without the quotation marks in the body of the email, not the subject) command to Replace the “[insert list name]” with either Canmuse-L, Onmuse-L or Fireweed-L (don't forget the dash and 'L' at the end). If the request is successful, a daily digest is sent that includes all the messages that were exchanged that day – instead of receiving emails as they are posted by others.
  • Be mindful that Listserv technology predates modern Web user interfaces, which we have now grown accustomed to. Therefore, the only way to change your preferences and delivery settings is to send “commands” to the system. You do so by placing the command in the body of the email (not the subject) and/or by sending it to a special email address. The Listserv interprets those inputs and makes the necessary modifications on your behalf.
    • We understand that Listserv commands are not easy or intuitive to use. So feel free to contact us for assistance:

One Final Note

  • The Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) is committed to supporting the exchange of information and best practices in the heritage sector. However, it cannot be held responsible for the content posted on this platform by its members. We do not moderate the messages before they are sent out to the group.

We hope you will participate actively in these groups.

Contact information for this web page

This resource was published by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). For comments or questions regarding this content, please contact CHIN directly. To find other online resources for museum professionals, visit the CHIN homepage or the Museology and conservation topic page on

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