Museum of Texas Tech University Receives Exemplary Certification Rating by Texas Historical Commission

The Museum of Texas Tech University received an exemplary certification from the Texas Historical Commission’s Curatorial Facility Certification Program.

The Museum of Texas Tech University received an exemplary certification from the Texas Historical Commission’s Curatorial Facility Certification Program.

This makes the museum the first facility to receive no deficiencies since the inception of the program.

Exemplary certification is awarded when the commission finds no deficiencies or disabling factors in a museum’s ability to collect and store state-owned artifacts, said Gary Edson, executive director for the museum.

"This event is about a number of things," Edson said. "It recognizes the museum for achieving this certification. It acknowledges our curator of anthropology, Eileen Johnson, for her past work in creating the certification process with the Texas Historical Commission. It also confirms the exemplary work done by the museum assistant director, Nicky Ladkin, in drafting and testing the certification procedure."

So far, 12 facilities have undergone the certification process, said John Nau III, chairman of the Texas Historical Commission. The commission is the state agency for historic preservation charged with preserving Texas’ architectural, archeological and cultural landmarks.

"Certification enhances a facility’s reputation by illustrating its ability and willingness to hold itself accountable," Nau said. "The Museum of Texas Tech University will play a major role in ensuring the preservation of Texas’ irreplaceable archeological collections are available for future research, displays and most importantly, for future generations."

Johnson, who also is director of Lubbock Lake Landmark, was instrumental in creating the certification program with the commission. Based on certification procedures for museums at the national level, she said the state’s program is at the forefront of keeping track of the state’s historical collections. But also, it keeps the facilities that hold these artifacts accountable as to how the items are kept, cared for and cataloged.

Johnson added she no longer served with the commission at the time the museum underwent its evaluation.

"When it comes to the artifacts found on public property, those artifacts are property of the state," Johnson said. "There is a problem in accounting for all these collections at all these facilities. Where are they? How well are they taken care of? What do they consist of? Well, the state now has a much better scope of what it has."

CONTACT: David Dean, director, Museum Information Services, The Museum of
Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2442, david.dean@ttu.edu