The Hampton Roads Naval Museum was awarded the field’s highest seal of approval, accreditation from the American Association of Museums. The museum is in august company. There are an estimated 17,500 museums in this nation, and approximately 5% are accredited. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum and Chrysler Museum of Art are the only museums in Southside Hampton Roads to receive this honor from the American Association of Museums. The Norfolk Botanical Gardens was reaccredited over the summer.
Accreditation status is only bestowed upon the most distinguished museums. The status brings national recognition to museums, reflecting their commitment to excellence, accountability and high professional standards. It is a rigorous process involving a major investment of time and resources from all levels of the museum’s organization. The accreditation process consists of seven steps and can take three to four years to complete.
The accrediting committee found the museum to be an excellent example of a military museum collaborating, and developing good relationships, with its local community. Museum Director Becky Poulliot states: “This is tremendous news for our museum staff and volunteers, the museum’s foundation board, and U.S. Navy leadership at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington, D.C. Peer recognition in the form of accreditation represents the culmination of years of preparation and hard work. Our staff members and the Hampton Roads Naval Museum as an institution are better for having gone through the process, and we plan to use what we’ve learned by offering even more programs and exhibits to the public.”