FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2008
Contact: Jennifer M. Guild, Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing
Tel: (804) 342-9665 | Email:
Virginia Historical Society Receives Highest National Recognition
Named One of America's Premier History Organizations by
American Association of Museums
Richmond, VA – After a-year-and-a-half of planning, a 60-page report with over fifty attachments, three days of site inspections, and five months of waiting, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) was recently notified that it has again achieved accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, funders, outside agencies, governments, and to the museum-going public.
"We are gratified that the VHS has been awarded this great honor," said J. Stewart Bryan, III, chairman of the Virginia Historical Society board of trustees. "The timing of the re-accreditation provides the perfect operating platform for incoming President and CEO Dr. Paul A. Levengood."
AAM accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM's museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.
Of the nation's nearly 17,500 museums, about 775 are currently accredited by the AAM. The VHS, initially accredited in 1998, is one of only 33 museums certified in Virginia. (For a list of accredited museums by state, please visit http://www.aam-us.org/museumresources/accred/list.cfm?mode=state.) All museums must undergo a very rigorous reaccreditation review at least every ten years to maintain their status.
In the report drafted by peer reviewers after their visit to the VHS in March, the Society is recognized as "an exemplary institution," "the 'go to' place for Virginia history," "a leader in the field," and a "model for historical societies and libraries." The report also states that the VHS is a vital and energetic organization with outstanding facilities and "is truly remarkable for the consistent high quality of its educational offerings from exhibits and publications to teacher training."
The Virginia Historical Society is at the forefront of preserving and interpreting the culture and past of one of the nation's most history-rich states," said American Association of Museums President Ford W. Bell, "and the VHS's reaccreditation by AAM indicates they are performing at their usual high level. The citizens of Virginia can be certain their heritage is in good hands."
The Virginia Historical Society is located at 428 N. Boulevard. The Story of Virginia, An American Experience, a 10,000-square-foot exhibition with more than a thousand objects covering all of Virginia history from prehistoric
times to the present is featured in the Robins Center for Virginia History. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am - 5pm
and Sunday 1pm - 5pm (Museum Galleries and Shop only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+ ($2/Tuesdays–galleries
only), $3/children and students, free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour
information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit