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Interlocking Grid System


As in many other museums, much of the textile collection at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is stored in flat-file drawers. In preparation for moving the collection to a new facility in 2017, current storage methods are being re-evaluated.  A new housing system was needed to organize and provide stability and protection for armbands and badges of various shapes and sizes. Part of the challenge was to ensure the artifacts could also be housed and organized by accession number. In order to address these issues, an adjustable grid system was created.


Allison L Rabent
6703 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD 20740
(716) 951-6062

Photo Credits: Adam Wiener

Publication: 2016 



Dividers made of corrugated blue board were cut to size and modified to create a stable grid that could be placed within the drawer, allowing the textiles to rest safely within individual squares. By adjusting the size and number of dividers, this system can be easily modified to accommodate for storage of a variety of flat media. 

Materials, Tools & Supplies

  • Corrugated blue board
  • Box cutter
  • Ruler
  • Straight-Edge


These instructions are designed for 52½x28½x1½ (WxDxH) steel drawers with 7 columns and 4 rows (7x7 inch cells) but may be scaled for other sizes.

  1. Cut conservation-quality corrugated board (“blue board” or similar) to 28½ inch (depthwise) and 52¼ inch (widthwise) widths.
  2. Cut six 1-inch-wide strips from the 28½ inch board (“short” strips) and three 1-inch-wide strips from the 52¼ board (“long” strips).
  3. For a set of dividers with a 7 column/4 row configuration, mark the strips as follows:
    Short and long strips: starting from one end, make a pencil mark every seven inches.
  4. Cut ½-inch-high notches at each pencil mark on each of the six short strips and three long strips. (The notches should be cut approximately ⅛ inches wide to accommodate the thickness of the board.) See the diagram below (not to scale):
    Figure 1 Grid diagram (not to scale)

    Figure 1 Grid diagram (not to scale)


  5. Line up the long strips and insert the short strips by aligning the notches to form a grid.
  6. Secure the joints with tape if necessary (fig. 2).
    Figure 2 Drawer with grid installed

    Figure 2 Drawer with grid installed


Preventive Conservation

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