State Museum of Pennsylvania Earns National Accreditation

The State Museum of Pennsylvania has again been accredited by the American Association of Museums, or AAM, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, or PHMC, announced today.

Accreditation is the highest national recognition for a museum, according to AAM. Only 775 of the estimated 17,500 museums operating in the United States – or about four percent – are currently accredited by AAM. This is the third time that The State Museum has earned this professional status, which is established through a rigorous peer review process conducted by AAM every ten to fifteen years.

“AAM accreditation is recognition of the museum staff’s commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued improvement,” said Barbara Franco, PHMC executive director. “The recognition is more meaningful coming at a time when the commission and the museum have sustained unprecedented budget cuts.”

On the budget issue, the AAM report noted, “The State Museum of Pennsylvania is commended for its outstanding commitment to upgrading collections care even in the face of budgetary constraints.” An estimated 4.1 million artifacts and specimens are housed in high density storage equipment.

The State Museum first opened to the public in 1905 and moved to its current site at 300 North St., adjacent to the State Capitol Building, in 1965. The museum serves more than 130,000 visitors annually, including 60,000 students from across the state. Exhibit areas total more 100,000 square feet.

The large collections on display and in storage encompass paleontology, geology, botany, zoology, archaeology, art and significant industrial, political and domestic collections associated with the state’s history.

The AAM report concluded, “The staff are very committed to the preservation of Pennsylvania’s patrimony, and they are moving in ways to achieve this.”

For more information about The State Museum’s exhibitions, events, programs and hours, visit

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