The Trustees at Bernera Museum were delighted, earlier this month, to receive from Museums Galleries Scotland confirmation that their status as a Fully Accredited museum has been renewed once again for the next five years.
First achieved in 2009 by the volunteer trustees, this on-going national programme provides benefits to the management of the museum and its collections through clear policies and procedures, the preservation of artefacts and stories of local interest, and ensuring the needs of both visitors, local people and volunteers are achieved.
Having Full Accreditation not only means that the small rural island museum is working to the same standards as the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, but it opens up opportunities to borrow and lend artefacts of interest from and to other museum with accreditation.
Being accredited also opens opportunities to apply for funding to preserve and enhance the museum and collections which would not otherwise be available.
There is a lot of work involved in preparing and submitting an application for accreditation – at least 27 different documents, policies and procedures, and while Museums Galleries Scotland provide templates, guidance and mentoring to help with this, it is still a huge task for the volunteers who undertake the work on behalf of the museum.
“After the months of preparation and work involved in this submission it was a proud and satisfying moment when the email arrived to say we had been successful. For a small museum it is a great achievement,” said Colin Halliday, Trust secretary.
The Accreditation Scheme in Scotland is administered by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of Arts Council England.
Bernera Museum, along with the Bosta Iron Age House, is run by Urras Eachdraidh Sgire Bhearnaraidh on behalf of Comunn Eachdraidh Sgire Bhearnaraidh.
Both are currently closed for the season and will be open from May to September for the summer season this year.
More information about the Museum and Iron Age House can be found on the museum website, https://berneramuseum.wixsite.com/website