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A Vertical Storage System for Flat Plaque Baskets

Purpose

Large collections of flat plaque baskets can be difficult to store. When laid horizontally, these baskets take up considerable space on a shelf or in a drawer. This problem is compounded by the amount of empty head space above them, as they are typically no more than a few centimeters thick. If they are stacked on top of one another to save space, they become more difficult to access and prone to damage. A vertical storage rack can provide a cost effective and space efficient housing solution for flat, or nearly flat, baskets in stable condition. The purpose of this system is to maximize space, while preventing the type of damage that can occur from stacking. It further serves to facilitate access for researchers by making the baskets easier to view and limits the amount of handling for each object.

Author(s)

Crista A. Pack
Arizona State Museum
University of Arizona P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
Tel (520) 621-6314
Email: packc@email.arizona.edu

Dr. Nancy Odegaard
Arizona State Museum
University of Arizona P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721 USA
Tel (520) 621-6314
Email: odegaard@email.arizona.edu
http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/

Illustrations: Crista A. Pack

Photo Credits: Crista A. Pack and Marilen Pool

Publication: 2014

DESCRIPTION

This support system is similar in style to vinyl record or magazine storage racks. Flat baskets with a sturdy rim are stored vertically in racks created from acid-free, buffered blue corrugated board (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Overview of rack storage system; partially filled with flat plaque baskets.

Fig. 1. Overview of rack storage system; partially filled with flat plaque baskets.

The overall box is partitioned into 25 individual storage units with “L”-shaped blue board dividers (Fig. 2). The “L”-shape allows visibility to each basket, while still providing support overall. Each basket is further supported by long pillows made from Tyvek and polyester fiber fill (Fig. 3). These pillows help to cushion the edges of each basket and distribute the weight evenly across the lower edge of each basket.

Figure 2. “L”-shaped dividers used to create space and support for each basket.

Figure 2. “L”-shaped dividers used to create space and support for each basket.

Fig. 3. Tyvek pillows are inserted into the bottom of each segment of the rack.

Fig. 3. Tyvek pillows are inserted into the bottom of each segment of the rack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig. 4. Polyethylene zip locking bag enclosure with catalog numbers easily visible.

Fig. 4. Polyethylene zip locking bag enclosure with catalog numbers easily visible.

Each plaque is put into a resealable polyethylene bag which is custom fit to the diameter of the basket. Catalog numbers are written with a permanent marker in the upper right corner so they are easily visible from the front of the box (Fig. 4). A mobile steel wire shelving unit was purchased with four shelves on which to place the storage racks (Fig. 5). The dimensions of each rack were tailored so that one rack fits on each shelf. Since each rack can hold up to 25 baskets, storage for 100 plaque baskets is provided per rolling unit.

 

MATERIALS, TOOLS & SUPPLIES

  • Mobile wire shelving unit
  • pH-neutral corrugated board – a large sheet of 48” x 96” works well for creating the overall box
  • Polyethylene foam plank – 1” thickness
  • Spunbonded high-density polyethylene fabric
  • Polyester fiber fill
  • Polyester thread
    Fig. 5. Mobile wire shelving unit with four storage racks.

    Fig. 5. Mobile wire shelving unit with four storage racks.

  • Linen tape
  • Polyethylene resealable bags (4 mil)
  • Sewing machine – with a foot that can handle a slippery, synthetic fabric
  • Glue gun and hot melt adhesive
  • Foam-cutting knife (ceramic works well)
  • Heat-sealing tool
  • Permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

CONSTRUCTION

  1. Cut a sheet of pH-neutral corrugated board to create a rectangular box with a low front and no top. The following template and dimensions are for a box that will house 25 basket plaques (plaques measuring between 24 and 36 cm diameter) and fits on the mobile wire shelving unit’s 18” x 47” shelves (Fig. 6). The overall dimensions are: 45”(L) x 17.5”(W) x 17”(H), while the front flap measures: 45”(L) x 5.5”(H).
    Fig. 6. Template for overall box; dotted lines should be scored for folding.

    Fig. 6. Template for overall box; dotted lines should be scored for folding.

  2. Polyethylene foam planks (1” thickness) are secured with hot melt glue to the back, bottom, and front flaps of each box. These should be cut to the following dimensions: Bottom: 45” x 17.5” Back: 45” x 15.5” Front: 45” x 4” The bottom plank will cover the entire surface. The back and front planks should be aligned with the top edge of those flaps. This will leave a slight gap at the bottom for the back and front to fit over the foam on the bottom when the box is folded.
  3. V-shaped grooves are cut into each foam plank to accommodate 24 dividers per box. The grooves should be cut into the full depth of the foam, to provide the most support. Width between dividers is approximately 1 5/8”. Each section is intended to be just barely wider than the baskets, which helps keep the baskets upright and will help prevent slumping over time (Fig. 7).
    Fig. 7. Cross-section view of foam grooves.

    Fig. 7. Cross-section view of foam grooves.

  4. Box corners are secured with hot melt glue and edges are reinforced with gummed linen tape.
  5. L-shaped dividers are cut to the dimensions of the box and are inserted into the grooves (Fig. 8). The dividers are pressure fit into the foam and securely held in place on three edges, so no adhesive is necessary to hold them in place.
    Fig. 8. Template for dividers.

    Fig. 8. Template for dividers.

  6. Long pillows are made of spunbonded high-density polyethylene fabric. These can be created by cutting a long strip of the fabric (36” x 4”), folding it in half (smooth surfaces to the inside) and sewing along the long edges. The pillow can then be turned inside-out and stuffed with polyester fiber fill (Fig. 9). They need to be filled “Goldilocks” style: not too hard and not too soft. The open end is then sewn shut and the pillow can be inserted in-between two of the dividers in the box.
    Fig. 9. Turning the pillow inside-out and stuffing with polyester fiber fill.

    Fig. 9. Turning the pillow inside-out and stuffing with polyester fiber fill.

  7. Plaques are put into resealable zip locking polyethylene bags for storage. Each bag is trimmed and heat sealed to accommodate the dimensions of each basket. Catalog numbers are written in permanent marker at the top right corner, which will be easily visible from the front of the box (Fig. 10).
    Fig. 10. Resealable polyethylene bag, heat-sealed along sides and bottom to fit dimensions of the basket. Catalog number is written with a permanent marker in the upper right corner.

    Fig. 10. Resealable polyethylene bag, heat-sealed along sides and bottom to fit dimensions of the basket. Catalog number is written with a permanent marker in the upper right corner.

 

COMMENTS

Creating a template to mark out the location for each groove in the polyethylene foam planks can help speed up the process and ensures even measurements across each foam plank. Similarly, templates for the dividers and pillows can help speed up the process of cutting those out. The boxes illustrated here were created for plaque baskets that measured between 24 and 36 cm. They can easily be scaled to different dimensions to accommodate different sizes or smaller collections.

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