An Affordable Museum Cabinet Alternative

An Affordable Museum Cabinet Alternative

4 Minute Read

Museum trays and drawers in shelving units

Libraries, archives, and other institutions often have three-dimensional objects in their special collections that must be documented, organized, and protected, but that can’t be stored on standard library shelving or in flat file cabinets. These objects often need protection from dust and potential breakage but don’t require the sealed environment that a museum cabinet provides.

To provide many of the benefits of a museum cabinet without the expense of sealed doors, Spacesaver has developed a unique solution: our 4-Post shelving can be fitted with locking doors and with inserts that accept trays.

Museum-Quality Trays

Inserts and trays are the same museum-quality accessories that are used in our sealed museum cabinets, with all the robust quality you expect from Spacesaver. Inserts can be adjusted on 2” increments without special tools, allowing you to reconfigure tray spacing as needed. Add more trays as your collection grows.

  • Sturdy
  • Reconfigurable
  • Easy to Use

4-post museum shelving drawers trays compact archive storage

This solution creates an affordable museum cabinet alternative when a sealed environment is not required.

Door Options

These doors are not sealed, but they do protect objects from dust and light and their optional locks can secure your collections. Choose from our full range of 4-Post Frame-Mounted Doors:

4post with doors
Solid steel panel reinforced with interior supports.

4post with doors
Available with a solid panel, or with a louvered panel to allow ventilation while still blocking light and dust.

4post with doors
Glass or acrylic panels allow visibility into collections.

Need the full protection offered by a sealed museum cabinet? Learn more about our reconfigurable Preservation Cabinet.

Lock Options

(Hasp available on double-wall and window doors only)

No Lock
4post doors lock options

Keyed Lock
cabinet shelving key lock

Electronic Lock
4post doors lock options

Padlock HASP

shelving door padlock


Affordable Museum ‘Cabinets’ for a College Library

Special collections receive special care at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. When the college obtained funding for a new library, faculty and staff worked with their architect and their local Spacesaver consultant to design a secure room to store archives and special collections.

Most printed materials were housed on compact mobile shelving, but the college also needed to store odd-sized items including plaques, dinnerware, and other objects associated with the institution’s history.

4 post tray drawing storage options

museum shelving full pullout tray

Due to budget constraints, and because the objects didn’t need the extensive protection offered by museum cabinets, library staff opted to install Spacesaver’s 4-Post shelving fitted with single-wall doors, keyed locks, and slide-out museum trays. The trays fully extend, allowing researchers to view objects without disturbing them, and the locks provide an additional layer of security.

As the collection grows over time, the trays can be raised or lowered without special tools, allowing staff to adjust tray spacing to maximize space and accommodate objects of different heights. They can also purchase additional trays at a later date.

The end result is an affordable museum cabinet alternative that protects collections and can be reconfigured over time.

Color Options

Choose from any of Spacesaver’s non-off-gassing powder-coat paint colors. Download the PDF to see all your options.

viking 920 museum cabinet tray cabinet

Looking for the enduring quality of our Viking Preservation Cabinets?

Create the best possible preservation environment with sealed gasket doors. We offer a wide variety of interchangeable trays, drawers, and other accessories to protect your collections now and into the future.

Looking for an affordable museum cabinet solution?

Learn about your options to optimize your collection storage space.

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