September 23, 2013

Storage Wars... at MHS!

by Molly Kruckenberg, Director, Montana Historical Society Research Center

A big part of our work here at the Montana Historical Society is to collect and preserve the books, documents, artwork and artifacts that tell the story of our State’s history. Proper storage of these items includes ensuring they are kept in an environmentally controlled area, where temperature, humidity and light levels are monitored. But proper storage also includes adequate space to accommodate collections without overcrowding.

BEFORE: Overcrowding in the archives makes it difficult
to care properly for collections.
(Photo by Jeff Malcomson)
The Research Center has been fortunate to receive funding from the Montana State Legislature to improve storage conditions for our archival collections. Over the next several months, a transformation will occur in our archives—from over-crowded, inadequate shelving to a state-of-the-art, high-density storage system. Not only will we increase the number of collections we can house in our current facility, but we will provide improved storage for those collections.

In order to complete this work, it is necessary to close access to our archival collections from October 15, 2013, through April 15, 2014. Other Research Center collections, such as books, newspapers, photographs, and maps, will remain open and accessible to the public during this time.

AFTER: The installation of high-density shelving, shown here,
will expand storage space and better protect collections.
Join us next summer for the grand re-opening of your Montana Historical Society Archives! And stay tuned here for periodic updates on our project.