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3 Questions with the Museum of Danish America

Category: Alliance Blog
Image of A-frame building with flags in front.
Museum of Danish America, Elk Horn, IA

Over the past two week’s we’ve heard from the Imagine Children’s Museum and the Mob Museum on what it means to achieve accreditation. This week we hear from Rasmus Thøgersen from the Museum of Danish America.

1. What does accreditation mean to you personally and/or to your museum?

Achieving accreditation places the Museum of Danish America amongst the top ranks of the museum field, recognizing it as a professional institution.  It acknowledges the years of hard work and dedication from our board members and staff, our American and Danish interns, and our volunteers.  The accredited status lends credibility to the work we have been doing for years and allows for greater trust not only amongst our peers within the field but also with our members and visitors.  A goal since our founding, we are proud and excited to have earned this recognition in honor of all those who have supported the museum over the past three decades.

2. Is there anything you wish you’d known before embarking on the process?

Though we wish we had some helpful tips and tricks to share, we were prepared enough that the process went really smoothly! AAM provided ample information about the process through the website, sessions at the annual meeting, and direct contact with our accreditation program officer. We felt ready for each step as it came, and we understood at each juncture what we needed to do or provide. AAM’s estimated timeline and cost schedule were also accurate.

3. What is one thing you’d like to share about your museum? One thing you wish everyone knew about your museum?

Because of our small town and rural Iowa location, we’re often battling negative preconceptions of our professionalism or level of exhibits. (On the flipside, it’s so great to hear when we’ve exceeded peoples’ expectations!) Since our origin, we’ve focused nationally in our programming, outreach, storytelling, and collecting. Achieving accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums is another way that we can demonstrate to potential visitors and donors our commitment to the highest standards. Come see us on the prairie sometime, or catch up with us when we have exhibits or events in your region!

Group of people in a white walled gallery listening to a curator speak
Curator-led tour of the Skål! exhibit
About the Museum of Danish America

The Museum of Danish America celebrates Danish Roots and American Dreams. Many of the pieces in the museum’s collection of over 35,000 artifacts are treasures which were passed down from generation to generation through Danish families. There are family heirlooms brought from Denmark, remarkable examples of handicrafts, tools of early immigrant tradesmen, and memorabilia from Danish-American clubs and organizations.

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