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seal of florida

Florida Department of State
Dawn K. Roberts
Secretary of State

For Immediate Release
August 31, 2010

Contact:
Wanda Richey
245.6400
wrichey@dos.state.fl.us

Museum of Florida History Receives Highest National Recognition

Awarded Continued Accreditation from the American Association of Museums

The Museum of Florida History has once again achieved accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum.  Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.

AAM Accreditation is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability, and earns national recognition for a museum for its commitment to excellence in all that it does: governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.  Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM’s Museum Accreditation program strengthens the profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and to provide the best possible service to the public.

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, 775 are currently accredited.  The Museum of Florida History is one of only 48 museums accredited in Florida.  The Museum was first accredited in 1986 and again in 1999.

"I am extremely proud of the entire staff for their dedication and accomplishments in achieving this status for our state museum," said Interim Secretary Dawn K. Roberts. 

"We are very pleased to receive this award," said Museum Director Jeana Brunson.  "The Museum of Florida History continues on its path to excellence through the preservation of our state’s cultural heritage and the numerous exhibitions and programs we offer on a regular basis."

"Accreditation assures the people of Florida that their museum is among the finest in the nation," said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM.  "As a result, the citizens can take considerable pride in their homegrown institution, for its commitment to excellence and for the value it brings to the community."

Accreditation is a rigorous process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations.  To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers.  AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, review and evaluate the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.  While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes three years.

The Museum houses more than 45,000 artifacts and has loans of historical objects to more than 30 institutions in the Southeast.  The staff provides more than 50 public programs to all ages throughout the year, and more than 12,000 students receive educational services onsite and in the classroom.  The Museum is open to the public seven days a week and 363 days a year, closed only on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The American Association of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.