LIMA — The Allen County Museum can now claim membership to an elusive club for another 10 years.
The museum recently received re-accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national honor a museum can receive. State Rep. Bob Cupp announced the accreditation at a dinner held Thursday at Shawnee Country Club.
Museum Director Pat Smith said the honor was very welcomed, especially considering the rigorous process that goes with receiving accreditation.
“The challenge of it is there are a lot of policies and procedures to go through,” Smith said. “The whole process takes four years.”
Smith said out of about 17,5000 museums located in the nation, only 1,000 are currently accredited through the American Alliance of Museum. The Allen County Museum is one of only 24 county museums in the nation with accreditation and the only county museum in Ohio.
“The process examines all aspects of a museum’s operations,” Smith said. “The bottom line is public trust. You have to have the highest level of ethical responsibility. There is the possibility of valuable artifacts being entrusted, and you have to show the ability to protect them and share them with the public.”
Smith said the process becomes even harder due to constant changing in the process of receiving accreditation.
“It is more challenging each time,” Smith said, “so you are constantly improving yourself.”
Cupp said the museum’s success is due to the people of Allen County.
“We have really great people on the board,” Cupp said. “We have great people working at the museum and a public that supports it because it is a community that cares.”
Cupp said he frequently visits the museum with his granddaughter.
For entertainment during the dinner, Abe Lincoln impersonator Robert Brugler portrayed of the most famous presidents.
Brugler, a retired school teacher, said he has been doing the act for about seven years.
“I try to speak on things that only he would know so people can learn,” Brugler said.
Brugler primarily focused on the 1860s of Lincoln’s life. He revealed several facts about Lincoln that many people do not know, such as he had a high-pitched voice rather than a baritone that is commonly believed. He said this gave Lincoln the ability to be heard by large crowds in days where there was no amplification. He said of Lincoln’s many accomplishments, two that stand out were freeing the slaves and saving democracy in a time where it was still regarded as an experiment.