Tag Archives: museum storage solution

Project of the Month: Indiana State Museum


indiana state museum

Increasing Capacity for Their Growing Collection


Client: Indiana State Museum
Departments: Biology,  Anthropology,  Archeology,  Skeleton,  Reference
Timeline: 5/28/2017 – 8/29/2017

The original collection of the Indiana State Museum was started in 1862, during the Civil War, when State Librarian R. Deloss Brown began collecting minerals and other curiosities that he kept in a cabinet. From those humble beginnings, the collection has grown and evolved along with the museum, ending up in a new location on White River Park in Indianapolis in 2002.  Since then, the collection has continued to grow and they were in need of additional space.


Configuring adequate space for each department within the already crowded vaults. Basically, expand storage without expanding square footage. Another hurdle was finding a solution for the large skeletal pieces that couldn’t be “pushed” or “pulled” off a shelf.


We worked with Traci Cromwell at the museum to meet with each department’s curator and establish their individual needs.

To capitalize on space we used the floor mounted ActivRAC so that we could run the rail up to existing cabinets and shelving without having to move existing shelves or the contents within. Additionally, ActivRAC met all their weight criteria for their collections and many artifacts weigh hundreds of pounds.

Now that Spacesaver and Viking are one company, merging the two product lines allowed us to develop a custom 8’W x 4’D drawer to fit into RaptorRAC shelving.  This custom metal wide-span shelving allowed the large skeletal pieces to be lifted out of the drawers without damage.

The custom drawers are meant to withhold a minimum of 500lbs, after a few tweaks the glides move with ease.  We added Rousseau drawers to SSC four-post and took advantage of RaptorRAC for taxidermy pieces in Biology.

Museum Storage

The team at Bradford Systems are experts in Museum storage, whether it’s for their collections, archives, or unique needs such as herbariums. We’ve teamed up with many museums,to improve capacity and functionality, ranging from the renowned Field Museum in Chicago to many local and state museums.

Affordable Solutions for Storing Priceless Works

All museums, regardless of size, resources, or theme, share one eternal challenge: space, or lack thereof. How do you display an ever-evolving collection of art and artifacts, and how do you securely store these objects for an indefinite amount of time, when space can be as priceless as the treasures themselves?

The folks at Rockford Art Museum in Illinois faced this very dilemma, and came to Bradford Systems for a solution. Keep reading to find out how we improved the museum’s vault without breaking the bank.

Long-Term Storage & Preservation

Speaking of vaults, one of the first steps Bradford Systems took was an assessment of Rockford’s secured area. Although works of art were protected while in static storage, limited space meant that individual pieces were often disturbed while accessing other items. Expanding the vault was not an option, so Bradford had to come up with another plan.

The answer? Spacesaver. Spacesaver high-density mobile storage solutions maximize the capacity of existing spaces. Fully customizable, these storage systems can be integrated into any existing floor plan, and feature modular shelves and racks for organizing a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and weights. For Rockford Art Museum, the addition of a flexible Spacesaver system meant that delicate works of art could be secured between exhibitions.

Collection-Specific Storage

Art is so much more than paint. Rockford Art Museum features a vast collection of sculptures and works that don’t fit in a frame. Due to the museum’s fluid exhibition schedules, Bradford Systems integrated collection-specific cabinets and shelving into our redesign plan. These specialized storage solutions offer a wide range of precise features, tailored to the individual needs of a facility. From security concerns, to lighting, temperature, and humidity, our collection-specific museum storage protects valuable items on display and behind the scenes.

A Leader in Museum Storage Applications

We are proud of our partnership with Rockford Art Museum, and our work there speaks for itself. In fact, Bradford Systems has a long and successful history with famed cultural institutions across the Midwest. See how we helped Chicago’s Field Museum tame its wild collection of dinosaur bones, mummies, and more – some 2.2 million objects in all!

Museums both large and small encounter the same space challenges. Contact us today, and let Bradford Systems show you how our adaptable museum storage solutions can maximize the space you already have, so you can focus on showcasing your works of art instead of finding room for it all.