Case Study KU Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum
The only bugs in our cabinets should be those you put in there
The University of Kansas Natural History Museum is home to large research and teaching collections. The museum’s collections have delighted generations of patrons who appreciate the diversity in collection. The building was opened in 1903 and boasts one of the world’s largest continuous dioramas, as well as nearly 11 million individual pieces.
As a research institution, the Natural history Museum only has less than one percent of its collection on display. The museum’s Collections and Facilities Coordinator, Lori Schlenker, is aware of the importance of their collections storage.
“Storage is very important for us, particularly being in a 114 year old building. We have a lot of environmental challenges, other structural challenges in a building like this. Our storage equipment, our cabinets, are really our first line of defense,” said Schenkler.
During routine inspection of the museum’s collections, Schenkler and her team discovered a dermestid outbreak. The flesh-eating beetles had infiltrated storage cabinets that held centuries-old collections. There was one notable exception.
“We don't have a single infestation in any of our Delta cases”, said Schenkler.
Delta Designs cases are designed to be hermetically sealed. Our machined attached gaskets and unique three-point locking system on our doors protect against temperature and humidity fluctuation. Our rigid construction ensures that your collections stay safe inside while potentially damaging pests stay outside.
“These collections have been around for decades before we arrived, and if we are good stewards of them and are doing our jobs, we will preserve these collections for the next 100 or 200 years. Delta cases are helping us do that.”
Case Study George Washington University Museum & Textiles Museum
The Only Constant is Change.
The Delta Designs name is derived from the concept incremental and constant change and we wear it as a badge of honor. Our name is more than an identifier for the organization, it is our calling.
Innovation in the industry comes from listening. Our best changes and innovations come about when we listen to our partners. They interact with our storage solutions daily so who better to offer suggestions? This is the type of collaboration that can only occur when you truly know your clients and they trust you.
One example of the innovation and changes that have come from our clients are our removeable flat storage drawers. Flat files are ideal for collections pieces which can not be rolled. Flat files allow the stored item to be viewed without being handled.
"Textiles are very susceptible to damage from water, from pests, from light, and it’s really important to keep them in proper storage, proper temperature, and proper handling above all,” Tessa Lummis, Associate Registrar at the George Washington Textile Museum.
Delta Designs heard and understood this concern from our partners and our designers accepted the challenge to improve storage options for collections staff. The result is a removeable drawer made of a proprietary alloy compound, rigid enough to maintain the protection that previous cabinets offered, but light enough to be removed and moved to a location for observation.
Improvement is a constant at Delta, that’s how we deliver the standard for museum collections storage.
“It’s absolutely crucial. Being able to put objects away in a proper facility where the climate control is maintained, and the environment is stable, and the cabinets or the shelving is neutral and properly configured for those specific objects,” said Rachel Shabica, Registrar at the George Washington Textile Museum. “It makes their storage much easier.”
Have an idea to improve museum collections storage? We would love to hear it.