Case Study: Kingman Museum
- Gracefully pack, transport and deliver all elements and exhibits of the Kingman Museum to a climate-controlled warehouse for long-term storage
- Limited workforce and volunteers available to assist due to Covid-19 regulations
- Meticulously catalog each item throughout move process
- Safely guard and relocate museum exhibits
- Verify all items are appropriately protected for prolonged storage
- Engage with museum experts to ensure items are moved systematically
Scope of Services:
- Custom packing and crating for one-of-a-kind, rare, delicate and high-value museum artifacts
- Relocation of all pieces to warehouse storage maintained by the museum
- Protect items from any humidity or unacceptable situation while being stored
“You have to know your customer,” said Steve Wayward, while recollecting his experience working alongside the Kingman Museum. “Their team reached out to Corrigan when they determined it was time to relocate the museum. They were aware of our name, and how we’ve provided successful moves for other museums in the region. After speaking with their team, I immediately knew what we could do for them, and I think they knew right away, as well. Sometimes that first interaction that lets you know the partnership is a good fit. In this particular case, it was.”
As the Director of Commercial Sales, Steve has been involved with a number of of museum moves, at the same time, this museum move was a touch different from his previous projects. “They have an incredibly broad collection,” explained Wayward. “There’s everything from Native American relics to taxidermy. Having such a extensive range of pieces proved to be a fascinating challenge for us, so we had to clearly collaborate with the staff of experts at the museum. They identify with their artifacts better than anyone, and this was definitely an occasion where our team relied on them for guidance on best way to proceed. As a result of their profound understanding, our team was able to demonstrate solutions for moving the museum. That collaboration proved to be central to this move being a success.”
The combined spirit of this move started right away. After the museum was presented the initial estimate, Steve worked directly with their experts to recognize projects that the museum staff could handle packing on their own. However, with Covid-19 restrictions, it meant a smaller than average number of volunteers and staff were available to assist. “Enabling them with the right information and resources helped the museum’s team to align the scope of services with their budget”, stated Steve. “Our moving team provided the guidance, tools, resources and materials. They provided the artifact experts and packing labor for a large portion of the museum move. Everything worked well, not only keeping them in line with their budget, but their staff was so well-versed, we couldn’t have packed some items any finer. When you have the right resources and knowledgeable people in place, you can accomplish a lot with a small group. In the end, by their staff participating, they cut their quote almost in half. They were sensational.”
Subsequent to further collaboration, a more casual pace was agreed upon. Generally speaking, commercial moves are completely packed, then move to their new destination. In the case of the museum, packing and then relocating individual areas of the museum, in sections, proved to be the best method. Throughout the course of 4 weeks, Corrigan had 3 employees on site daily to work beside the Kingman team. Moving scrupulously through the storage areas and exhibits, each section was packed and transported before moving onto the next section.
Brian Stickler, warehouseman for the Corrigan Grand Rapids branch, was one of the Corrigan crew members on site for the project. “Most museums do not allow you to touch their artifacts, so this was a really once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is not everyday you can touch a real taxidermy of a polar bear,” he explained. “It was also a fun chance to admire and handle the pieces in the museum storage and archives. These were items off exhibit that the general public cannot view.”
The most unforgettable item handled during the relocation: “A saber-tooth tiger from the original excavation of the LaBrea Tar Pits,” said Stickler. “It took a little bit to identify the most favorable solution to support and carefully handle it. The skeleton is mounted inside of an open-front display. We decided to place book boxes under him for support, and then pad around and underneath its teeth with paper. We ended up surrounding the display in foam and placed it inside a sofa carton. We used the same method for the dire wolf skeleton, and they both were moved as seamless as could be.”
However, not all artifacts were large though. What amounted to be one of the most interesting collections to move just so happened to include some of the smaller items. Within a storage cabinet laid about 20 trays of various animal eggs. “There were some large ostrich eggs all the way down to eggs about the size of a marble. We wore gloves of course, but those were definitely some of the most tiniest items I’ve ever moved,” explained Stickler.
How do you move such a unique collection? “At about 5 mph,” laughed Stickler. “To begin, we carefully put down protective material and pad inside of the truck. Then we placed each tray of eggs flat inside. We had two team members in personal vehicles, escorting our semi-truck with their flashers on. Similar to a processional, traveling literally 5 mph from the museum to their warehouse storage location. It was white-knuckled over every small bump, but each specimen was safely moved.”
Whether it was minerals, fossils, rocks, taxidermy, meteorites and everything in between, each and every article had to be carefully organized for the museum records. “At the end of the day, that proved to be the greatest challenge of,” recalled Stickler. “We kept precise records of every item we relocated, what it was packed or wrapped in, and the final location inside of the storage warehouse. Because the museum is storing all items until they find a new location, they must know the exact location of every artifact. It was a tedious task, however we accomplished what the museum required.”
Once the entire museum’s contents were delivered to the storage facility, Corrigan protected all boxes and artifacts with sheets of plastic. The goal was protecting the goods from moisture, with visibility for staff.
Currently the museum remains closed, the artifacts are in storage until a permanent location is determined. “I’m certain that when the museum locates a new building, Corrigan will be there,” said Steve. “I am anxiously looking forward to working with them again and seeing how the museum can grow and evolve within a new space.”
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