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A cost-effective alternative to sealed museum cabinets

When two museums merged to create the new American Civil War Museum, staff got the chance to

re-think their collections storage. Each of the museums had their own collections storage equipment, including old cabinets and shelving, but they decided they wanted the new space to function consistently and have a uniform look throughout.

Like many project planning teams, they were on a tight budget and had strict space constraints. They needed a way to organize and protect artifacts while also using all the space from the floor to the ceiling— and they needed a budget-friendly way to do it.

They knew they needed museum-quality drawers and trays, but welded cabinets were beyond their budget. They opted for Spacesaver’s Nantucket system of museum drawers and trays, which are installed in 4-Post shelving units instead of cabinets. They can bear up to 100 pounds each and the trays can be fully released and removed for study or conservation work. Staff worked with the local Spacesaver consultant to create even more space savings. Open shelving above the trays provides overhead storage for larger and bulkier items. They also had the units installed on Spacesaver powered mobile shelving systems to accommodate the combined collections and provide room to grow in the future.


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