Designing High-Bay Facilities for Off-Site Art Storage

Consolidating, preserving, and accessing collections.

4 Minute Read

High-bay facilities aren’t only for storing books, journals, and other printed materials. As libraries and museums change to create new public spaces, off-site facilities also provide secure storage for art collections. Storing artwork in an off-site facility frees up space in on-campus libraries and museums while still providing full access to collections.

Here’s how two universities have recently consolidated artwork in off-site facilities to free up space on campus and provide the best conditions for collections storage.

University of Calgary

Off-site Storage for Campus Art Galleries

When the University of Calgary expanded the off-campus High-Density Library, the planning team worked with Spacesaver to design a separate space within the facility for storing the university’s extensive art collection. Art racks, shelving, and museum-quality trays keep artwork organized, protected, and accessible. Now curators from the university’s art galleries can easily visit the collections storage area to view and select works for display on campus.

Curators can easily view and select items for display on campus.

archival art rack storage system

Nested Lateral Art Racks for Hanging Art

art shelves diving rods

High-Bay Shelving with Rods for Framed Art Storage

archival shelves drawers

Museum-Quality Drawers & Trays

steel archival art shelving

Steel Archival Shelving for Boxes & Bins

archival film storage shelving

Off-Site Film Storage

Texas State University – San Marcos

Off-site Collection Preservation

The off-site collections preservation facility houses different kinds of materials, from printed materials to archival boxes to framed artwork. The facility was designed to maintain three separate preservation environments according to the preservation needs of the collection and the comfort of staff and visiting researchers.

Off-site storage frees up space on campus.

archival collection hanging art rack storage

Compact Art Racks for Hanging Art

climate controlled art archive storage systems

High-Density Mobile Shelving Eliminating Wasted Aisle Space

art off-site archival shelving solutions

Framed Art High-Bay Shelving with Rods

Room to Grow

These purpose-designed buildings not only provide an exceptional preservation environment for works of art. They also use space efficiently to provide room to grow in the future. Carefully assess collections and estimate the volume of future acquisitions to ensure the facility will have plenty of space to accommodate growing collections.

Although high-bay facilities are expensive to build and operate, partnerships can help distribute the expense: two campuses can share a facility, for example, or a local museum can rent space from a library’s off-site facility.

“Our university records and archives collection is growing exponentially, which is why we’ve moved to mobile shelving to increase our storage capacity.”

-Claudette Cloutier, the University of Calgary’s Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning Services

Connect with the experts in off-site art storage

Free up space on campus, in your library or archives, or in your museum. We can help design an efficient way to store art collections in an off-site facility. Your local Spacesaver consultant can meet with you on site or online, and there’s no cost or obligation.

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