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This striking view of the New Mexico Museum of Space History at dawn was taken by area resident Jim Harris.

Space Museum Re-accredited by American Alliance of Museums

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is pleased to announce that it has been formally re-accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, continuing a tradition of excellence for more than 24 years.

The Museum was first accredited by the AAM in 1993, and has remained in good standing since.

For nearly 50 years, the mark of distinction in the museum field has been accreditation through the American Alliance of Museums and it continues to be so today.

Accreditation offers a wide range of benefits to museums, but most importantly it speaks to the commitment that the museum staff has to fulfilling the mission of the museum and to meeting and exceeding best practice standards for museums nationwide.

New Mexico Museum of Space History Executive Director Christopher Orwoll proudly displays the re-accreditation certificate from the American Alliance of Museums. (Photo courtesy NMMSH)

According to the International Council of Museums, there are approximately 55,000 museums in the world. Of those, only 1,067 are accredited by AAM.  The Museum of Space History is also a Smithsonian Affiliate, which puts it in the elite 8% of AAM accredited institutions that carry both prestigious honors – only 87 institutions worldwide.

Of all the Smithsonian Affiliates, however, 40% are accredited by AAM.

“We are very pleased that the AAM has re-accredited our museum. It is a testament to the hard work of our staff and supporters, including the Department of Cultural Affairs, Governor’s Commission, Foundation and the City of Alamogordo,” said Museum Executive Director Christopher Orwoll. “The investment that our state is making in the museum continues to pay off, with this re-accreditation and with ever increasing visitors.”

The museum exceeded the 100,000 visitor mark this year, for the first time in a decade.

Once a museum is accredited, the process of re-accreditation happens again every ten years in order to make sure institutions are maintaining the standards expected. It’s a process that involves every department of the facility with the application usually taking several weeks to complete. It covers everything from square footage to budget to staffing, and much more.

When the self-study is completed, the museum receives feedback from AAM staff, refines the application and then waits for the Accreditation Commission to determine if a site visit is in order. After the site visit, which is normally a group of two peer professionals visiting for one to three days, a report is submitted to the Commission which reviews it and then decides if the re-accreditation is warranted.

The entire process can take as long as eight months, sometimes longer.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website or like their facebook page.

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