Delaware’s State Museums Awarded National Accreditation

The five museums operated by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs have been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States.

“Achieving accreditation is the gold standard of the museum profession” said Timothy Slavin, director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. “This achievement is doubly significant because we persevered and achieved it during trying economic times for the State of Delaware. Across our entire division, we maintained focus and effectiveness and our role as cultural stewards was recognized.”

Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and the museum-going public. The newly accredited state museums include the John Dickinson Plantation near Kitts Hummock; the Johnson Victrola Museum and Old State House in downtown Dover; the New Castle Court House Museum; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes. State museums are under the stewardship of the Department of State.

Photo of the John Dickinson Mansion in snow
Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation
Zwaanendael Museum
Photo of the New Castle Court House Museum
New Castle Court House Museum
Photo of Old State House Restored Extention
Old State House
Displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum
Displays at the Johnson Victrola Museum

“Our state museums, and the collections they house, are treasures to be appreciated by Delawareans and visitors alike, and the dedicated team at the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs serve as excellent caretakers,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. “The people of Delaware can be proud of the work they do and the rich historic and cultural legacy they help preserve and safeguard for all of us.”

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the American Alliance of Museums 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.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, approximately 1,000 currently are accredited. Delaware’s state museums join only two other museums accredited in Delaware.

Accreditation is a rigorous 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. An independent and autonomous body of museum professionals then considers the self-study and visiting-committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

Photo of the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs logo

About the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the Delaware Department of State. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes the administration and operation of five museums, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, management of historic properties across Delaware as well as the management of a conference center and the operation of the State Historic Preservation Office.

Photo of American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

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

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