Museum Collection Storage Solutions
Creating collection spaces designed from the start to keep pace with future acquisitions.
Museums always face the challenge of predicting future growth and ensuring they have enough space to accommodate new acquisitions. Overcrowding can quickly become a serious issue, leading to sub-optimal preservation conditions and making it difficult to access collections for research or exhibits. Let us help you wiht your museum collection storage, Here are the Top 5 Ways to ensure your museum is prepared for future growth:
- INSTALLING EXTRA RAILS
A museum worked with Spacesaver consultant to design and install an in-floor rail system as part of a major renovation. By planning ahead and installing the rails during construction, the museum is able to easily install new carriages, cabinets, and shelving as its collections grow.
Space Planning Solutions for Museum Collection Storage
The collections area was formerly a maintenance operations area consisting of several small rooms. Even with the load-bearing walls removed, the space was somewhat odd, with several doors leading into the collections area and a variety of overhead pipes and large structural columns.
Spacesaver worked closely with museum staff to design a custom storage system that would save space, time, and protect collections. By designing compact mobile storage systems, or compactors, they were able to create a solution that met the unique needs of the museum.
Planning for Growth
The system was designed to protect historical artifacts, but it also allows for future growth. The museum director observed how another institution installed an in-floor rail system before additional carriages and storage furniture were needed or purchased. By planning ahead and installing the rails during construction or renovations, museums can be ready to accept new carriages as collections grow. They added capacity with an additional carriage three years after the initial renovation.
By working with Spacesaver to carefully assess the collections area and the items to be stored, and by planning for growth, they created a smart storage solution that will keep collections organized and accessible for decades to come. Don’t just plan for storing what you have—plan for the future.
- USING MODULAR, CONFIGURABLE CABINETS
As your collections grows and change over time, it’s important to have storage solutions that are flexible and can adapt to your evolving needs. Spacesaver 920 Series Preservation Cabinets feature reconfigurable interiors with interchangeable drawers, trays, hanging rods, and shelves – so you can always find the perfect storage solution for your collection
- PLANNING TO GO VERTICAL IN THE FUTURE
At a maritime museum, we needed a way to accommodate taller shelving. So we designed a high-density mobile system that would give us some room to grow in the short term. This cost-saving measure allows us to take full advantage of the vertical space in our warehouse for museum collections storage.
Years later, they purchased two warehouses across the street from the museum. One is used to store historic vessels that have been acquired for our collection, and the other, larger building houses a variety of smaller objects like ship models and hanging art. A large Spacesaver high-density system was designed to hold three-dimensional artifacts, while art racks were installed in the second warehouse for storing flat objects.
The system was designed to accommodate future growth. “When we first embarked on this project, we approached it ambitiously because a lot of money and effort went into acquiring the property,” Smith said. The museum used the Sourcewell Contract to get competitive pricing on quality products from Spacesaver. In addition, the Spacesaver high-density storage system was designed to accommodate much taller shelving than the system that’s currently installed. This cost-saving measure gives the museum room to grow in the short term, and taller shelving can be installed later to take full advantage of the vertical space in the warehouse for museum collections storage.
- BUILDING EXTRA CAPACITY IN COLD STORAGE
We helped the Museum of Nature and Science design and implement a cold storage solution to consolidate and preserve film, prints, tapes, and other materials.
Because cold storage is essential for the long-term preservation of items that tend to deteriorate quickly, a growing number of museums are installing freezers and coolers to create optimal storage conditions for their collections.
Working with Spacesaver, they were able to create a compact storage system that would save us space and resources. Their representative worked closely with our staff and architect to create a solution that would not only protect our collection, but also improve organization and efficiency. With their compactors, we were able to eliminate wasted aisle space while still improving accessibility. Our collections are now stored in a state-of-the-art facility consisting of a cooler kept at 45 degrees Fahrenheit and a freezer kept at -4 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Spacesaver solution was a great investment for the museum. It saved time and protected collections, while also saving space and money over the long term.
- CONDUCTING A SPACE ASSESSMENT FOR MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
It’s crucial to start planning for collections growth before a crisis hits. The collections storage planning process begins with a space assessment that can be conducted by your local Spacesaver consultants. They’ll measure your space, evaluate your existing equipment, and help ensure your collections storage areas make the most of every cubic inch of space, now and in the future.
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