A Talk with Dawn Johnson on the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Associate Director/Chief Administrator of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, and Rotary Club of Ann Arbor Member, Dawn Johnson, shares news on the Kelsey Museum-

The walk to my office takes me through cases of artifacts holding stories of the past from ancient Greece, Rome, dynastic and Roman Egypt, and the Near East.  The artifacts in the galleries of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology are a small representation of a collection of over 100,000 objects.  The collection that is not on view is studied by faculty, students and researchers, and presented to a larger community through online resources, publications, and changing special exhibitions.  The collection is representative of years of Michigan excavations, an aspect of the Museum that is still active today.  The Kelsey Museum supports fieldwork, research, education, and exhibitions that interpret the ancient collections.  This is done through the dedication of Kelsey faculty, staff, and a strategic plan that supports each aspect of Museum operations.

I have been at the Kelsey Museum for six years and when I was hired one of my primary responsibilities was the preparation for the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) reaccreditation visit scheduled for 2016.  The review entails a rigorous process of self-assessment and review by peers to evaluate that standards are in place to support excellence in collection stewardship, education, fiscal compliance, and an environment that supports education, innovation, and collaboration.

Thanks to our hard working and dedicated staff, the Kelsey Museum had a successful site visit, receiving reaccreditation for 10 years from AAM.  Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, over 1,000 are accredited and the Kelsey is one of only 13 museums accredited in Michigan.  The process reinforces the Kelsey Museum’s commitment to its mission as part of the University of Michigan, and reminds me that it is not only a wonderful place to visit, but also to work.