The Geneva History Museum has been working on pre-accreditation for several years. This required revising and creating documents that have been designated as core by the American Alliance of Museums “because they are fundamental for professional museum operations and embody core museum values and practices. They codify and guide decisions and actions that promote institutional stability and viability, which in turn allows a museum to fulfill its educational role, preserve collections and stories for future generations, and be an enduring part of its community.”

The five documents include: Mission Statement, Institutional Code of Ethics, Strategic Institutional Plan, Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Plan, and a Collections Management Policy. Verification is a required prerequisite for accreditation.

For more than 45 years, the Accreditation Program has been recognized as the gold standard of museum excellence. With its mix of self-assessment, peer review, and public recognition, AAM Accreditation helps to ensure the integrity and accessibility of museum collections, reinforce the education and public service roles of museums and promote good governance practices and ethical behavior.

Accreditation offers high profile, peer-based validation of our museum’s operations and impact. Accreditation increases our museum’s credibility and value to funders, policy makers, insurers, community and peers. Accreditation is a powerful tool to leverage change and helps facilitate loans between institutions. Only 22% of history museums in the country are nationally accredited. Currently, there are none in Kane County, Illinois.

The next step is a Peer Review visit by museum professionals that will take place virtually in July of 2021. The fee required to apply for accreditation was donated by a very supportive couple in our community.