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  • José H. Leal

National Shell Museum Turns 25!

November 18, the Museum's anniversary, is always a special day for us. But this Thursday, November 18, will be extra-special, as the Museum will be celebrating its Silver Anniversary, its first quarter century of many more quarter-centuries to come! It seems like yesterday that the Museum had its Grand Opening, but the organization has seen so much progress since that bright day on Sanibel Island. The Museum's uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the only professional, educational, and fully AAM*-accredited museum. Through its relatively short existence, it attained many achievements and milestones, including its first accreditation, official recognition of its scientific collection as one of the most important in the country, and unique school programs. The year-old Beyond Mollusks! expansion allows us to show and interpret living animals to our visitors, raising awareness about our biosphere and the natural environment. Many of you who are reading this blog have been instrumental in the creation and consolidation of the Museum. Celebrate the date with us from a distance as we continue to navigate the waters of the 2020 Pandemic or come visit in the near-future for a unique socially-distanced, renewed experience. And many thanks for your support throughout the Museum’s relatively short but very relevant life!


*American Alliance of Museums


On November 18, 1995, City of Sanibel Mayor Wally Kain (on podium) officially dedicated the Museum. Also present were, from left, Thomas Peter Bennett (then Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History), Cecelia Abbott (widow of Museum's Founding Director R. Tucker Abbott, with dark jacket), and Harold M. Tovell (President of the Museum's Board of Trustees).