Consolidated Museum Storage Leads to Improved Safety and Efficency at Peabody Museum of Natural History

The new 100,000 square foot facility — which houses 60 percent of the Peabody collection as well as offices and labs for faculty from the departments of Anthropology, Geology and Geophysics, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the School of Forestry — includes more than 250 high-density carriages, 40,000 drawers, 2,000 museum cabinets and 16,000 linear feet of shelving. 

“Anytime you build a new university facility, campus space is an issue,” said Tim White, assistant director for collections and operations. “By utilizing Spacesaver compact storage systems instead of conventional storage methods, the Peabody was able to cut museum storage space requirements in half by shrinking 40,000 square feet of storage into 17,000 square feet.” By reducing cubic space, the museum also saved ongoing utility costs associated with the environmentally controlled storage areas.

A wide array of storage methods are utilized to safely house specimens including Delta Designs’ cases with drawers and trays for small specimens including bird and mammal skins, and fossil shells. Wide-space shelving for large taxidermy mounts and fossil tree stumps and heavy-duty, four-post shelving with reinforced supports for bulky, oversized fossils were also added.

“Not only have we improved the safety and efficiency of collection storage, we have brought our collections together in one building so that researchers can conveniently study a cross-section of specimens representing the entire history of life,” said White.

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