Museum Storage Solutions for the Naper Heritage Society

Case studies dedicated to storage, control and productivity solutions
Museum Storage | Advanced Companies

In The Beginning
A visit to the Naper Settlement of Naperville, IL is like a full immersion baptism into early 19th century life in Illinois: Thirty buildings on thirteen acres, replete with costumed interpreters resurrecting life as it was centuries ago; a partnership between the city of Naperville and the Naper Heritage Society of 1969. What began over seventy years ago with the donation of the Martin Mitchell Mansion and surrounding 212 acres has become a link to the era upon which our communities today are built. Visit the blacksmith building, chapel, schoolhouse or post office, and get a feel for life in a time that suddenly seems like more than just a paragraph in a textbook.

History Treats Itself
Bringing the not so recent past to life, however, carries a burden of commitment. As the Naper Settlement continues to grow, so does the number and value of items entrusted to its care. Naper
Settlement was recently faced with the increasing need for a better way to preserve their local history. Efficient organization of their stored collection was becoming an increasing challenge—the
multiple locations used for storage were too scattered. An IMLS grant to build a new, climate-controlled 18,770 sq ft storage facility, shared with the city, helped ease this burden.

After soliciting and reviewing bids from museum storage manufacturers, the Naper Settlement awarded the contract to outfit their new facility to an ISDA network partner for several key reasons:

  • Their broad product selection
  • The versatility of their record storage product line simplified customization needs, allowing mixing and matching of shelving sizes and drawer configurations
  • Their museum storage product line for specialized storage applications, and sensitive items
  • Standard industrial shelving suited perfectly for easy access clothing storage in archive storage boxes
  • High density mobile system’s ability to store virtually anything and adapt as needs change.

Making History Neat
The job was no small undertaking. Borroughs was tasked with designing storage units for 38,000 items of varying shapes and sizes—from delicate sets of china, costumes and textiles, to bulky tables, desks and firearms. Special units were manufactured for several smaller collections, which had to be separated and filed according to donor name. Units were manufactured and shipped in phases, as collection items were ready to be put in place. This was the perfect opportunity (for Borroughs expertise in customizable storage) to shine.

The Task at Hand
They began by working with the architect, who modified his design to utilize mobile, compacting storage, rather than static shelving and cabinets. This upgrade alone saved an additional 40%-50% of space. 2,602 linear feet of track was laid to accommodate the compacting storage. The excess space was used to lay more track to provide for additional units in the future.

The Results
Borroughs designed, manufactured, and installed an array of custom and standard units—both static and compacting. Products were installed from October 2008 to March 2009, utilizing units from a variety of our partners product lines.

  • Framed art bins: made from their record storage line.
  • Customized to size, provide more storage volume than typical art racks
  • Rolled textile drawers: for fabric samples. Also built from their record storage products
  • Textile racks and drawers: conveniently store large and small textiles, tapestries, rugs, and other items
  • Weapons storage: security locks, handgun and knife drawers, and accommodates long arms
  • Wide Span Storage: for storing heavy, bulkier items
  • Flat file drawers: with roller ball bearing slides and heavy-duty reinforced steel construction
  • Open shelf filing: quickly locate files, documents and books

Leave a Reply

Looking for storage, control, and productivity solutions?