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Creating Custom Housings

When we visit a museum, we don’t often think about the artifacts not on display or how they are stored. The WDM cares for many artifacts currently in long-term storage. The WDM’s collections and conservation staff work to ensure these artifacts are stored in a manner that promotes their preservation.

One way our staff does this is by creating custom housings (trays, boxes, folders, etc.) for artifacts. Sometimes this is because the artifact is large or uniquely shaped, which makes it difficult to buy storage solutions that will fit the artifact. The WDM also makes custom housings for smaller artifacts so they are properly supported and protected. Creating custom housings also allows us to house multiple artifacts together in either custom or prefabricated boxes. This allows us to use our limited storage space efficiently.

Take a look at a small sampling of the different custom housing solutions created recently by collections staff.

Creating a tray insert to create layers in a prefabricated box.
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Using tray inserts to create layers, allowing for efficient use of space and proper support for each artifact.
Artifacts: WDM-1995-S-744: WDM-1973-S-6999; WDM-1995-S-795; WDM-1995-S-1544.
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Cutting and forming small trays for storage.
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Making storage trays. Tape with a water activated adhesive is used to hold together the corners and create a streamline tray, which packs efficiently into boxes and drawers.
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Completed trays.
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Artifacts in their new housings, which includes a foam insert for support.
Artifacts: WDM-1998-S-187; WDM-1998-S-186; WDM-1973-Y-3609; WDM-1973-Y-7814.2.a+b.
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Creating archival folders to house souvenir image collections.
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Completed archival 4-flap folders
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By: Jill Baron
Curatorial Assistant

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