for the Sedgwick Museum's Collections
SSI Schaefer has designed and installed a mobile storage system to increase the storage capacity for one of Britain's largest
collections of fossils at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences in Cambridge.
Having previously designed and installed a mobile installation in 2001 for the Sedgwick Museum which had proved very successful in
operation, SSI Schaefer easily met and exceeded the design and commercial requirements as specified in the tender.
SSI Schaefer was selected as the preferred supplier to redesign the Sedgwick Museum's existing mobile shelving in order to increase
storage capacity and working closely with Dan Pemberton, Collection Manager and Sarah Finney, Conservator at the Sedgwick
Museum, Schaefer installed a new system using mobile bases and PR 600 pallet racking.
The installation had to be phased over a ten week period due to the logistics of temporarily removing the specimens from the existing
mobile which could only be done in stages due to lack of alternative storage space on site. The specimens, which are kept in individual
drawers within special cabinets, had to be removed one by one, followed by the cabinet itself. Once completed, SSI Schaefer was able
to remove the existing mobile base and install the new base and racking.
A particular challenge of the design was the weight of the cabinets and specimens. The cabinets, constructed of mahogany, are so
heavy that once the specimens in drawers are slotted in, each base had to be able to take a loading of up to 8000kg. The design put
forward by SSI Schaefer was able to meet this requirement. Some of the cabinets are also listed items; therefore replacement of these
with a lighter storage medium was not an option.
Dan Pemberton said: “SSI Schaefer's new racking has improved the quality of the storage that we provide for the Museum's
collections, securing their future for generations to come.”
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences traces its history back to the 18th Century when Dr John Woodward bequeathed his
collection of rock, mineral, fossil and archaeological specimens to the University of Cambridge. The present museum opened in 1904,
but there is insufficient space to put every specimen on public display, many of those in storage are kept at the A.G. Brighton Building
which is where both SSI Schaefer mobile systems are installed.