NHA Whaling Museum Receives Highest National Recognition Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

American Alliance of MuseumsNANTUCKET, MA –Initially accredited in 2008, the Nantucket Historical Association’s (NHA) Whaling Museum has again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. All museums must undergo a re-accreditation review at least every ten years to maintain accredited status

Alliance 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 more than forty-five years, the Alliance’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.

“The NHA is honored to be re-accredited by the American Alliance of Museums,” says Janet Sherlund, former NHA Board of Trustees president. “This distinction acknowledges that we continue to meet national standards and best practices for U.S. museums and remain a member of a community of institutions that choose to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence. The rigorous self-assessment and thorough peer review help us make sure every corner of our house is in order, and can assure the community of our commitment to good stewardship of our resources and to institutional growth. The Board would especially like to thank the staff for its comprehensive and diligent work in preparing for the review while, as always, continuing their passionate work for the NHA’s mission and community.”

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, more than 1,000 are currently accredited. The NHA Whaling Museum is one of only 68 museums accredited in Massachusetts.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, evaluates the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

Restored in 2005, the NHA Whaling Museum features top-quality exhibits and galleries as well as daily programs and tours that bring to life the history of this magical island. The museum is home to a 46-foot sperm-whale skeleton, a restored 1847 oil and candle factory, and countless Nantucket artifacts and treasures. A relaxing, fully accessible rooftop observation deck offers stunning views of Nantucket harbor.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance 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. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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