Expanding Access to Revealing Records
When looking for information on their lineage or the heroic efforts of those who came before them, residents of Walworth County, Wisconsin need to look no further than their local Historical Society building. But it wasn’t always this way. Once a collection of facilities with specific focuses spread across the county, records-seeking residents now can find all this and more in one location: thanks to a deal from their local government and support from the experts and solutions at Spacesaver.
The Walworth County Historical Society (WCHS) is dedicated to the preservation of the county’s history. Functioning as a major research and exhibition center, the WCHS allows the public free access to its information during open hours. Primarily, the artifacts and records housed within the WCHS are donated by the residents of the county, resulting in a steady flow of items that is unlikely to cease from generation to generation. Knowing this and the capacity of its portfolio of facilities, the WCHS sought out additional space to support the invaluable service they provide to the community.
Obtaining Opportunity for Expansion
What started as an inquiry into the possibility of expanding their main building, quickly turned into the acquisition of a much larger space. When city administrators relocated their municipal services to a new building, the WCHS purchased the former Elkhorn City Hall building – built in 1931 – and began working with a museum consultant to renovate and modernize the building for its use in a phased approach.
“We were going to put a 2,500-square-foot addition on it. Now, we’re going to gain over 10,000 square feet.”
-Jim Boardman | Walworth County Historical Society President
Future Focused, Past Sustaining
Upon evaluation of the newly acquired space, museum staff and the consultant knew they would need help to adequately store the records and items they currently possessed, while preserving space for future history. Ranging from maps to local artifacts, model airplanes, and memorabilia from the military, these noteworthy reminders required specialized solutions to ensure they are preserved for viewing by generations to come.
This is where they brought in their local representative from Spacesaver to help assess the space and develop a plan that would optimize the building’s layout and the association’s impact for the public. Utilizing a combination of high-density mobile systems, Nantucket Trays, and 4-Post Shelving, materials waiting for processing or to go on display are held securely until staff can address them.
Displaying Pride and Sacrifice
Moving their Veterans Museum to the new facility was a high priority for the WCHS. Featuring artifacts dating from the Spanish-American War to present day, the museum offers a look into the role Walworth County residents played in shaping the foundation of the country.
“Our Veterans Museum was opened from donations provided by county VA and families who wanted the items to be shared with the public,” said Boardman. “In this new space, we’ll have rotating exhibits displaying what we have to offer from individuals throughout the county who served.”
Looking to find a way to display more of its ever-growing collection of uniforms, weapons, images, and artifacts, the WCHS contacted their Spacesaver representative to see what was available to boost both capacity and security of these historic items. Knowing that we had just the solution, our expert met with the WCHS staff to coordinate the installation of the newest solution within our art rack portfolio: the Mod-Glider Pro™.
After the installation was completed and the space renewed for public access, the Veterans Museum held a grand opening ceremony on Memorial Day Weekend. Now, with the Mod-Glider Pro in place, museum staff can more easily provide visitors with access to a larger number of pieces. In addition, staff has been able to more efficiently rotate collections in and out of display, delivering a dynamic space that maximizes community engagement.
Delivering Timeless Support
At Spacesaver, we understand that renovating a space or building new can be an expansive undertaking. Our experts have the necessary experience to deliver the solutions you need to create a storage system that will protect your collections now and into the future. As you think about designing a new or renovated collections area, contact us to arrange a free consultation. You’ll learn about your options and gain insight and inspiration from others who we have helped complete similar projects.