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Museum Storage

Museum collections: Wonderful to display, difficult to protect and store.

For curators, museum storage is an ongoing struggle. Preservation and best practices need to be balanced with the constant incoming of new artifacts and items—and along the way, the lack of museum storage means compromised collections.

In working with many museums throughout Ontario, we’ve learned that integrity, preservation, and conservation of museum collections are the #1 priorities. Take a look at how we assisted Ottawa’s Canadian War Museum with reorganizing, repurposing, and reconsidering the possibilities of their space.

Fine Art Museum Storage

Canadian War Museum

Our art rack storage systems offer a versatile and secure way to store fine art collections, with special consideration to two-dimensional works. Racks can either be hung from the ceiling or integrated into a museum’s existing floor. Store double the amount of art by hanging pieces on both sides of the rack.

The Canadian War Museum knew they needed a compact solution for their 1,300-piece art collection. We helped them develop a painter’s vault with 90 double-sided moveable art racks for maximum storage and visibility into the collections. This room gave them enough storage for their existing collections—and also offered them much needed room to grow.

Museum Storage Cabinets

Canadian Art Museum

For smaller items and priceless artifacts, museum storage cabinets can be designed to meet the specific needs of your staff, facility, schedule, and budget. These cabinets are approved for museum and archival use, with solvent-free, non-reactive, baked polyester coating.

In the Canadian War Museum, two large vaults—one for arms and armor, the other for uniforms and insignia—feature several high-density mobile storage systems with mounted cabinets. These cabinets feature a range of drawers, doors, and shelving to hold toy soldier collectibles once used for military planning, rolled textiles, regimental and battle flags, and other artifacts of various shapes and sizes.

Museum Weapons Storage

Canadian War Museum

Though weapons storage is usually more common in public safety applications, it was central to the artifacts housed in the Canadian War Museum. Because of the many weapons in the museum’s collection, we used two case-type shelving systems stacked on top of one another with custom racks to store 4,000 long arms and 2,000 handguns. This shelving was paired with high-density mobile carriages to maximize storage space to its full capacity.

For additional weapons storage, weapons racks were used. Other artifacts such as body armor, swords, and helmets were placed on sturdy, adjustable wide span shelving and mounted to additional compact storage shelving units.

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High-Density Mobile Shelving for Museum Storage

Canadian War Museum

The staff at the Canadian War Museum was looking for a solution that would compact museum storage and increase the amount of storage space. For that reason, high-density mobile was installed with the purpose of organizing and safely storing the museum’s 500,000 artifacts. The collections ranged in size from buttons and insignia to tanks and airplanes.

Larger, bulkier items were stored in a mechanical-assist mobile system with 18-foot-high pallet rack to maximize the vertical and horizontal space available.

Archival & Off-Site Storage

As collections continue to expand while storage space stays the same, many museums are turning to leasing or purchasing off-site storage facilities. In the Canadian War Museum’s case, they had more than enough space to store their massive collection—but many large and small museums alike are not so lucky. If storage space is nowhere to be found, the integrity of collections can get compromised.

When this becomes an issue, we recommend a high-bay mobile storage solution. High-bay mobile storage has the same characteristics of standard high-density mobile storage, but offers a way for more to be stored vertically. This solution is a great way to store archives and books.

Feeling a bit crunched with your museum collections storage? Contact a storage expert today and let us walk you through your options.

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