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Collections & Exhibitions

Collections & Exhibitions Collaborative

Case Studies

Quick Tips For Storage Planning

Museum Storage Planning

Museum storage is challenging for the sheer variety of items and the special storage requirements for your institution's priceless objects. A museum collection can encompass everything from massive paleontological samples, to taxidermy, to small specimens. Valuable manuscripts, fragile paintings, and on-loan collections may require special security as well.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when developing new museum storage systems or renovating existing storage space.

  • In conjunction with your designer, architect or Aurora Storage planner, review your overall space plan to ensure adequate storage space for current needs and future expansion. A common recommendation is to add 20% more storage space for new acquisitions.
  • Is security important? Does the storage system need selectively locking doors and drawers, or does it require security locks on the system overall?
  • Local fire codes often mandate sprinklers. How will the placement of the storage system affect what is being stored under those sprinklers? Example: A powered mobile storage system can integrate into HVAC controls to automatically go into 'fire park' mode should an alarm be activated.
  • Consider staff access and activity level desired for the collection. If collections are accessed intermittently rather than on a daily basis, the storage recommendation may vary.
  • Your planners will ask you for help with assessing, categorizing and documenting the collection to be
    stored. You will need to estimate weights and dimensions.
  • Dimensions are important because they will determine depth and height of the storage system. Weights are significant to ensure floor loading is not exceeding the building's capacity. This can be verified by your architect or structural engineer.
  • Ensure your storage system supplier has eco-friendly product to protect collections, manuscripts and documents from volatile off-gassing which can degrade artifacts.

Aurora Museum Planning Sell Sheet 2


Museum Reference & Research Libraries

Researchers, scientists, and students using a museum's library can benefit from a well organized and efficient research center. Aurora Library Shelving can work to reduce the footprint required for book storage while adding space for additional volumes.

Aurora Storage Products
Eco-friendly Museum Storage Solutions

Aurora has many solutions that work for museums whether it's space efficient Times-2TM Cabinets, high- density Aurora Mobile, Art-StorTM, or sturdy Quik-LokĀ® Shelving. Our design experts can assess existing museum floor space and recommend product to increase storage in the same footprint , often storing 50% more than before.

Aurora Storage Products are eco-friendly with 40% recycled steel content and are finished with Gloss- Tek, a powder coating safe for even the most delicate of museum collections.

Aurora Museum Planning Sell Sheet 3

Museum References

  • Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • Colorado State University, Avenir Museum of Design & Merchandising
  • JFK Presidential Library and Museum
  • Lincoln Library & Museum
  • Museum Amparo, Puebla, Mexico
  • Southern Ute Cultural Center
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • University of Arizona, National Tree Ring Laboratory & Museum


Case Studies: Library & Museum Storage

Chemical Heritage Foundation
Philadelphia, PA

The Chemical Heritage Foundation, located in Philadelphia, PA, collects and preserves the history of chemical and molecular sciences.

Their impressive collection of artifacts and rare books includes Robert Boyle's Usefulness of Experimental Natural Philosophy, (1664), many historic chemical instruments, two hundred items of fine art, and the first pre-production nylon stockings.

Embarking on a renovation and expansion, the Chemical Heritage Foundation required the housing of a variety of unique books and artifacts in an environmentally friendly manner. Additionally, they wished to replace sagging and worn wooden shelving with a sturdy and aesthetically beautiful storage system.

Priceless objects demand to be showcased in only the best. That is why the Chemical Heritage Foundation chose custom-designed Wood-Tek cabinetry with Aurora Shelving for its newly renovated facility.

Wood-Tek products have a fine hand-rubbed finish on beautiful wood, and an environmentally safe powder coated steel shelving in which to store precious collections, monographs, and first edition volumes.

Unlike conventional all-wooden shelving which can sag under the strain of heavy media, Wood-Tek combines with Aurora Shelving to provide the strength to house even the heaviest of library and museum collections. The Gloss-TekTM powder coat paint finish used on Aurora Shelving is solvent-free and 100% non-volatile, producing absolutely no off-gassing that might jeopardize the Foundation's prized artifacts.

Aurora Wood-Tek was also able to provide an exact color match to the existing wooden furniture and paneling in the museum making the renovation appear seamless.

Elsa Atson, Librarian for Chemical Heritage Foundation expressed her delight, "The new library storage system is beautiful and extremely functional, too."

Conference Room Wood-Tek Cabinetry with Metal Mesh Doors

Case Studies: Museum Storage

Museo Amparo

Aurora has many solutions that work for museums whether it's space efficient Times-2, high-density Aurora Mobile, sturdy Quik- Lok Shelving, or even a combination of all three as you can see in this newly inaugurated addition to the Museo Amparo , a museum in Puebla, Mexico.

The museum's permanent collection spans Mexico's history. It includes pre-Colombian pieces that date back to 2,500 BC, as well as Colonial era art and modern Mexican art. The mix of figurines, altar pieces, sculpture, pottery, utensils, and paintings is unique, varying in size, weight and condition.

Museo Amparo worked with the local Aurora Dealer who recom- mended several Aurora Mobile systems with extra tall shelving and generously sized drawers to store religious artifacts, sculpture and altar piece components. Another Aurora Mobile system was outfitted with 4" divided drawers to house smaller figurines, pot- tery, and utensils.

In the museum's reference library you can find Aurora Library Shelving for volumes used on a daily basis and a large bank of locked Times-2 cabinets storing restricted books.

These books are too valuable or delicate in nature to be accessed by anyone other than the reference librarian.

Museum Artifact Storage Aurora Mobile System

Research & Library Center
Times-2 Cabinets with Restricted Books

With a custom designed storage solutions in all parts of the new facility, Museo Amparo is very pleased. "Now we can see what we have in the collection because of the mobile system, it's wonderful to see it so nicely organized."

Case Studies: Educational Museum

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)

Dendrochronology is the science of tree rings, studied for a variety of scientific purposes, whether it's analyzing past climate conditions or determining the date of archaeological sites all over the world.

What does this have to do with Aurora Storage Products? Plenty! Several years ago Carol Schuster made contact with an architect at a regionally held AIA show regarding a future project to store tree ring samples. Although the school was not ready to purchase, Carol was persistent in first contacting Dr. Pearce Paul Creasman, the Lab's Curator.

Bill followed up by forwarding to Dr. Creasman samples of the Aurora Office 1000 Wheel Set and Barrier Free Track. He then had a complete Aurora Quik-Lok Shelving Unit shipped to the facility, meeting personally with the customer to set up the unit to the exact specifications of the various Tree-Ring Lab specimen box sizes.

The result? From the sample products provided, and the "extra effort" shown by Bill in personally working with Dr. Creasman on the prototype unit, he came away convinced that Aurora was the superior product and that Certified Business Services was the best company to provide and service it.

!!In 2013 the University of Arizona initiated the project for a mobile storage system with Certified Business and Aurora Storage Products. Designed to be installed in three modules, the first part of the system was manufactured, shipped and installed in less than 3 weeks, just in time for the dedication of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research's new research facility (the Bryant Bannister Tree-Ring Building) on March 1. Completion of the other two modules followed in two weeks time.

This sizeable system is a mechanical assist mobile with a combination of 24" x 48" back to back Aurora Shelving for cured tree ring samples, and 24" x 48" back to back Aurora Wire Shelving for fresh cut samples that need air circulation during the drying process. Certified Business' installation was f!lawless and done in record time for the dedication.

Dr. Creasman said that Aurora was "his highest quality choice and didn't disappoint."