Texas Tech University

Solving a Bulky Storage Problem

Large, irregular sized objects such as bedframes pose storage issues for museums. Two students in the Heritage and Museum Sciences master's degree program at the Museum of Texas Tech University took on the challenge and came up with an award-winning solution.

bed frame with studentsBedframes are hard to store because of their unusual shape, size, weight and intricate details. They are often are stored by leaning them against walls and each other, a solution that is not the best for the objects. History Curator Cameron L. Saffell suggested to his two graduate assistants that they work on a new storage system.

Emily Williams and Elise Dukart took on the challenge and created a prototype storage system. The students did most of the building with help from the Museum's exhibits team to make sure the vertical storage racks were structurally sound. The model stores bedframes in vertical shelves in order to minimize the amount of space taken up by storage and improve the stability and safety of the objects.

bed frame posterWilliams, who is from Miramar, Florida, and Dukart, from Wibaux, Montana, presented their prototype in poster form at the 2018 Mountain Plains Museum Association meeting and won first place. They said the number of people who talked to them after their presentation indicates that storing large, bulky objects is an issue in many museums.

Students from the master's program apprentice in different areas of the museum and work directly with objects such as the bedframes, implementing the principles they have learned in the classroom in real-life situations such as this.

Saffell, Williams, and Dukart have discussed how to improve the original prototype and hope to build a permanent storage system for the collection's thirty or so bedframes sometime in the next year.