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.

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