Guide to Choosing the Right Museum Storage System

Museums are depositories of history, packed with extraordinary objects. In this post, we dive into the challenge of choosing the right museum storage system. 

guide to choosing the right museum storage system

Museums are depositories of history, packed with extraordinary objects – from massive paleontological samples to minuscule specimens. According to the US government, over 35,000 museums exist in this country, the most famous being the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago and the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum. These many thousands of museums receive millions of visitors.

While gazing at the Mona Lisa, the multitudes of museum visitors do not stop to consider an underrated perhaps unnoticed complexity: storage. However, as museum archivists, curators, technicians, and workers understand, the museum storage market is both interesting and challenging. Why? Because of the extensive variety and special shelving storage requirements.

In the content below, we dive into the challenge of choosing the right museum storage solutions.

Selecting the Correct Variety

Choosing the right museum storage system begins with understanding the system you require for your application. For example, single and double door museum cabinets are excellent for general collections, herbarium cabinets, entomology cabinets, and flat files. Perhaps a specific museum needs to save space – high-density mobile or Times-2™ storage may be the ideal options. For quick and sturdy application, a Quik-Lok shelving design may be perfect. Below, we explore each kind of storage, including benefits and ideal application.

Museum Cabinets

Museum cabinets are ideal when you have too much to store and too little space – a common story. Museum directors and curatorial staff are tasked with storing priceless, aged items safely and securely. The ability for future generations to enjoy historical objects often rests in the hands of the staff. Once more, depending on the staffed objects, optimal storage will differ.

Herbarium Cabinets: As the name implies, Herbarium Cabinets possess the quality, breadth, color selection, and accessories for your botanical collection. Aurora Storage® herbarium cabinets feature industry-unique compression handles, providing an extraordinarily tight seal and non-off-gassing silicone gasket. The goal? Protecting your prized specimens without a shadow of worry.

Entomology Cabinets: Like the Herbarium Cabinet, entomology storage units contain a locking compression handle to protect your zoology collection.

Art Rack: An Art-Stor Art Rack is custom-designed to store art collections. Certain cabinets are designed to store paintings in reserve collections, research areas or highly dense areas. Other designs were built to store artifacts, sculptures, prints, textiles, and any number of unique collection items.

Archival Cabinets: Archivists are tasked with the important job of preserving invaluable property. Paper, photographs, sound recordings, artifacts, and electronic files carry the weight of historical societies, government entities and more. Essentially, these items are irreplaceable. Thus, the storage systems designed to carry them must be secure and safe with non-reactive surfaces.

Natural History & Research Center Cabinets: Natural History Museums boast a broad variety in their collections. Flexibility is absolutely crucial. Storage systems must be able to carefully store lightweight taxidermy specimens and gigantic paleontology fossils. Natural history museum storage must be adaptable to paleontology, paleobiology, archaeology, anthropology, dendrochronology, and many other varieties.

Flat Files: Flat Files are heavy-duty welded files, featuring ball bearing slides and smooth drawer interiors. Seamless access to stored materials eliminates harm done to stored items.

High-Density Storage

At Aurora Storage, shelving and cabinet units are designed to be freestanding. However, they can be easily incorporated as part of a large, mobile storage system.

What are the benefits of high-density storage for museums?

  • High-density shelving saves 20% of floor space overall, proving to be substantially more efficient than cantilever shelving.
  • Aurora Storage shelving supports even the heaviest books. A single shelf can carry 300 pounds without deflection or bowing over time.
  • Carefully designed gusseted uprights make grabbing books packed in tight, efficient rows simple. Quik-Lok design – mentioned previously, will not damage collections with hardware or braces.
  • Purchasing high-density storage units through Aurora Storage guarantees full access to our team of design experts. Our team will assess existing museum floor space then recommend the ideal product for your specific available space.
  • High-density units can be augmented with a variety of accessories, including shelves, garment hangers, drawers, textile drawers, weapons racks, and security drawers.

Quik-Lok Shelving

Quik-Lok shelving is elegant, durable, flexible, and safe. Museum storage can benefit greatly from using this concept.

  • Quik-Lok Shelving assembles without tools, braces or hardware. Ultimately, this protects collections stored on the shelves.
  • Quik-Lok Shelves are American made.
  • Fashioned from steel, Aurora’s shelving units are available in more standard sizes, colors and styles than any other brand.
  • Quik-Lok shelves can be created custom, with custom-sized widths and heights, providing ultimate flexibility with your museum storage.

Times-2™ Rotary Cabinets

Rotary cabinets are built to save space. Versatile, compact and flexible enough to store a variety of items in style, Times-2™ cabinets can be accessed from eight sides, with double the depth. A few more benefits of this design include…

  • The Times-2™ design rotates for quick access to both sides, excellent for multimedia storage, taking space planning to a whole new level.
  • The Times-2™ cabinet divides space where lateral cabinets simply cannot.
  • This cabinet design saves space for workstations, ultimately increasing productivity.
  • Times-2™ excels in storing hanging, end tab and top tab files, binders, DVDs, CDs, office supplies, coats, and a wide variety of other personal items.

Aurora Storage Museum Storage Solutions

Aurora Storage provides solutions for History & Natural History Museums, Heritage Centers, Art Museums, Galleries, Design Museums, Children’s Museums, and University Museums. Already, a number of museums and research facilities benefit from Aurora’s storage cabinets.

A few current customers include the Museo Amparo in Mexico, the University of Arizona’s Tree Ring Research Center in Arizona, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Morton Arboretum.

If your museum is in need of efficient, high-density storage units or museum cabinets, Aurora Storage is your ideal solution. Contact us today to explore our products in greater depth – and discuss how we can improve your museum’s current storage space.

We look forward to protecting your priceless story.