To qualify as a Certified Museum the organization must meet all criteria as defined in the Certified Museum Guidelines. Applications for Certification are accepted from January 1 through February 15. Applications received after February 15 will not be considered for that calendar year.

Organizations applying for certification must be an active member of the Arizona Historical Society as an Affiliate member. At this time, Affiliate membership may be purchased online as an Individual membership at the $50 level, however the organization should identify themselves as such.

A qualifying organization/museum is open to the public or offers interpretive programs on a regularly scheduled basis for at least 208 hours per year, and:

  • Is guided by a mission statement that clearly describes the purpose of the organization.
  • Operates as a not-for-profit organization.
  • Has a governing structure including by-laws, articles of incorporation, and a board of directors.
  • Conducts meetings and holds elections on a regularly scheduled basis.
  • Develops membership or volunteer groups that support the organization.
  • Offers educational and public programs, special events, and other activities tied to its mission.
  • Is accessible to academic and avocational researchers.
  • Encourages public awareness and a sense of value for Arizona history.
  • Responsibly manages its collections and ensures they relate to the mission of the organization.
  • Ensures a secure environment for staff and visitors, as well as the historic collections in its care.

Certified Museum and Historical Organization Application

Applications for certification are accepted throughout the year. Only applicants meeting the Certified Museum Guidelines will be considered. Complete the Application Form and follow the instructions for submittal.


AHS provides support to Certified Museums through a grant program, administered annually. Certified Museums may apply annually for a grant of up to $2,000 for projects pertaining to the preservation and exhibition of Arizona history. Grant Applications are mailed to Certified Museums in April. Applications for 2019 must be returned by June 30, 2019. Qualified museums should review Grant Guidelines prior to completing the Grant Application Form. Grantees must file a Grant Final Report by June 30 of the following year.

*Note: Please make sure you download the PDF and then use the most recent version of free Adobe Reader to complete the fillable PDF forms.*

Arizona Historical Society