AAPA Letter to the Illinois Governor regarding ISM Closure

Message from the AAPA President:

The Governor of Illinois has announced plans to close the Illinois State Museum System.

Public hearings are being held July 13, 2015 and the public comment period closes July 22, 2015. The Illinois State Museum System has significant paleontological and anthropological collections – including the Mazon Creek fossils (a 300 million year old mother lode), and including anthropological collections from Cahokia among many other locales. The ISM includes Dickson Mounds.

AAPA has written to encourage the governor to reconsider this proposal. The AAPA letter can be viewed at this link.

Links are provided below for more information and background on the topic. If you want to voice your opinion, links and emails of the Illinois Legislators can also be found below. Local voices count alot, so you may want to share with any friends family or connections in Illinois.

News, Commentary, and ISM Background

Website for public commentary:

Newspaper articles here:

Some opinion pieces:

Statement from the American Alliance of Museums:

A public radio piece here:

About the ISM System:
The Illinois State Museum System includes 6 facilities across the state: the Illinois State Museum and Research and Collections Center in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown, the ISM Chicago Gallery, the ISM Lockport Gallery, and the Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center. Scientific content is generated and presented in the first three facilities, the latter three present art and history. The whole system is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Only about 5% of U.S. museums are accredited.

The ISM system contains some 13.5 million accessioned objects. Most significant geology collections would be Quaternary vertebrates, especially Proboscideans (probably the largest collection of mastodons anywhere) and Pennsylvanian Mazon Creek fossils http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/mazon_creek/.

The largest collections are anthropology. Particularly significant would be those from the Mississippian cultural period, but the ISM also has a collections spanning from Clovis to protohistoric, also large ethnographic collections. The ISM curates the materials from Cahokia. The ISM has agreements with the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma (formerly Illinois) to curate their funerary objects and with the St. Louis District of the Corps of Engineers. And it is requirement that burials excavated in Illinois be curated at the ISM following analysis.

To Register your support for the Museum System:

• Testify at the public hearing on July 13 –


• Submit a written public commit before July 22 –


• Write or call –

Governor Rauner

e-mail http://www.illinois.gov/gov/ContactUs/Pages/VoiceAnOpinion.aspx,

write: Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield, IL 62706

phone: 217-782-0244

The Honorable John J. Cullerton, President, Illinois Senate:

e-mail jcullerton@senatedem.illinois.gov

phone (773) 883-0770

The Honorable Jim Durkin, Republican Leader, Illinois House of Representatives:

e-mail repdurkin@hotmail.com

phone (217) 782-0494

The Honorable Christine Radogno, Republican Leader, Illinois Senate:

e-mail christine@senatorradogno.com

phone (312) 814-2050

The Honorable Michael J. Madigan, Speaker, Illinois House of Representatives:

write: 6500 South Pulaski Rd; Chicago, IL 60629

phone: (773) 581-8000