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Education, K-12

Designing Storage for K-12 School Archives

Creating more classroom space during COVID.

June 3rd, 2021 - 3 min read

A school’s archives are an important reflection of happenings in the larger society beyond school grounds.

When viewed years later, items like yearbooks, student newspapers, school board minutes, and even lunch menus help show how students and teachers reacted to and were shaped by historical events.

“The archives are very important to us as a way to educate our students about history from the perspective of their own school,” said Jeffery Biggar, the co-director for advancement for Hawken School, a private K-12 school in suburban Cleveland. Alumni and parents also enjoy visiting the archives.

Nantucket Drawers and Trays

Protect Collections – Optimize Space – Promote Access

The Challenge
Moving School Archives to a Smaller Space

When COVID created the need for social distancing and smaller class sizes, staff at the Hawken School had to relocate the institution’s archives to make room for an additional classroom. The new location was more convenient to staff offices, but it was significantly smaller.

“I knew from the beginning that we really needed to have professionals come in and help design the best way to store these objects in a smaller space,” Biggar said.

school archive shelving drawer storage system

The Solution
Designing School Archives to Save Space

Biggar called the Cleveland-based Spacesaver consultant, who visited the school, answered questions, and shared insights about room layouts. They decided on static shelving fitted with Nantucket Drawers and Trays and counter-height file cabinets that do double duty as display.

Nantucket Drawers and Trays provide museum-quality storage on a budget. In this school archive, they store letter jackets, student work, posters, and more.

The Results
A Consolidated, Accessible Archive

Now it’s much easier to access items in the collection. Students can study school newspapers, yearbooks, and records from decades past to understand how happenings at the school reflected historic events in the United States. Parents and alumni can view items, as well. “We can bring in alumni, parents, and students, and show them more than 100 years of history,” Biggar said.

“The experience was all top-notch, including the crew that installed it,” he said of the local Spacesaver distributor’s design and installation process. “The workmanship was excellent. I highly recommend them.”

high school archive storage solutions

Counter-height file cabinets store school records and also serve as a display area.

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