The Prehistoric Museum Receives Highest National Recognition


Awarded Re-Accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums

Press Release

The USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum has again achieved accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public. The Prehistoric Museum was initially accredited in 1991. All museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status.

Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 50 years, the Alliance’s museum 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.

“The Prehistoric Museum is thrilled with the recent news of our reaccreditation by the American Alliance of Museums,” said Dr. Tim Riley, Director of the USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum. “This honor highlights the exceptional staff of the museum and their role in caring for the objects housed at the museum and the stories they help us tell.”

Riley continued, “I would like to thank our Advisory Board, the leadership of USU Eastern and USU Statewide, our visitors, and the communities of eastern Utah for their role in developing and supporting the museum in its mission. The museum strives to be an exceptional educational experience for all ages, a good steward for the resources we hold in public trust, and committed to continual institutional improvement and growth.”

The museum explores prehistoric life and past cultures from a decidedly local perspective. The artifacts and specimens displayed at the museum are almost entirely from eastern Utah, an incredible geological landscape that preserves the traces of past life and past human cultures as well as any region on the planet. Located near the northwest edge of the Colorado Plateau in Price, Utah, the museum is the perfect introduction to eastern Utah’s landscapes for the outdoor recreationists and other visitors drawn to the natural beauty, public lands, and national parks that define the region for so many.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, roughly 1,100 or 3% are currently accredited. The Prehistoric Museum is one of only six museums accredited in Utah and the only one outside the Wasatch Front or Cache Valley.

Accreditation is a rigorous but highly-rewarding 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. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance President and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

The Prehistoric Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of natural and cultural processes that formed the geologic, fossil, and prehistoric human records of eastern Utah. The museum seeks to share Eastern Utah’s unique prehistory with the global community.

The Prehistoric Museum is located in downtown Price, Utah at 155 East Main Street. We are open seven days per week, Sunday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p/m. For more information, check our website,, or call us at (435) 613-5060.

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 stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit

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