This project led by Rebecca Kellett is helping Museum Victoria preserve important historical artefacts with custom-built storage systems.
Museum Victoria is Australia’s largest public museum organisation with origins that date back to 1854. Today, the three venues, Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum and Scienceworks, collectively house more than 16 million items in high-quality storage systems.
The collections range from Indigenous artefacts, bark paintings, scientific apparatus, costumes, textiles and artwork. Each item is a valuable part of the state’s history and requires a long-term storage solution that also allows for easy accessibility during exhibition times.
High quality and custom-fitting storage design is a key aspect of ensuring the preservation of, and access to, these culturally, historically and scientifically important collections. The items require a unique solution to keep them clean and to avoid any damage while held in storage, and while being moved in and out of the shelving systems.
In June 2014, Safer Storage Systems was awarded a significant portion of Museum Victoria’s interim collections storage upgrade. This upgrade planned for an expansion of the existing fit-out, including modifying static shelving to mobile storage and the addition of widespan shelving and cabinets.
The project rollout began in September 2014 with Safer Storage Systems providing and installing hardwearing, steel widespan shelving, medium duty stationary cabinets, lateral drawer cabinets, plan cabinets, textile drawers and widespan drawers.
Majority of the new widespan shelving was to be fitted to existing Museum mobile storage bases, which entailed meticulous attention to detail to ensure a precise match-up of materials. Within the shelving Safer Storage Systems designed and manufactured over 250 widespan drawers to accommodate large specimens that can reach over two metres long and one metre wide.
All shelving and drawers were required to be built around the intricate scope provided by Museum Victoria. So, in order to avoid costly delays during the construction and installation phase, materials were first checked in the Safer Storage Systems warehouse.
Results of the upgrade outlined above have contributed significantly to improving the preservation of and access to the organisation’s collections. Museum Victoria has already seen a 30% increase in efficiency of its collection stores.
As the museum collections continue to expand, so too does the need for additional shelving with works for the storage upgrade planned to continue through to 2016.
Download the Museum Victoria Collections Upgrade case study here, or click the thumbnail below.
Museum Victoria presents temporary and permanent exhibitions at its three Melbourne based venues: Immigration Museum, Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks. These collections are central to cultural and scientific programs for Victorians as well as visitors from interstate and overseas. The organisation’s research across science and humanities uses the museum’s collections and an expert team to further our records of the social and natural history of Victoria.