Cold Storage in a Museum

Spacesaver compactors improve efficiency and collections care.

Because cold storage is essential for the long-term preservation of film, animal pelts, and other items that tend to deteriorate quickly, a growing number of museums are installing freezers and coolers to create optimal storage conditions for their collections.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, for instance, recently built a cooler and a freezer to house its image collection. Film, photographic prints, and other materials had previously been stored in various locations around the museum, and staff wanted to consolidate the collection in climate-controlled spaces in order to preserve the materials and organize them more effectively. When a major gift enable the construction of a new wing, the construction of cold storage spaces became a top priority.


cold storage museum VHS preservation archival

museum climate control storage rooms

“It’s expensive storage, but the price that you pay for not doing it is the total loss of the colleciton.”

– Rene O’Connell, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Operating a cooler and freezer is expensive, both in terms of natural resource consumption and the museum’s bottom line. In order to build a cold storage space that would allow for future growth while still occupying the smallest space available, the project team decided to work with Spacesaver to create a compact storage system.

The local Spacesaver representative worked with museum staff and the architect to create a solution that would protect the collection, save space, improve organization and efficiency, and comply with applicable codes. Spacesaver compactors eliminate wasted aisle space while improving organization and accessibility. The collections are now stored in a state-of-the-art facility consisting of a cooler that’s kept at 45 degrees F and a freezer kept at -4 degrees F.

The Spacesaver solution helped the museum and its staff save time and protect collections, while also saving space and saving money over the long term.

compact cold storage museum preservation

The Spacesaver solution:

  • Protects the collection
  • Saves space
  • Conserves Energy
  • Improves organization and efficiency
  • Complies with applicable building codes