Case Study:Improving the storage for manuscript collections at Pitt Rivers Museum

The Pitt Rivers Museum cares for the University of Oxford’s collection of anthropology and world archaeology. The Museum’s Manuscript Collections include the papers of notable early anthropologists and curators associated with the Museum, items relating to the Museum’s foundation and early history, historical documents and correspondence relating to the Museum’s collections and special collections of field notes.

The Museum was looking for improvement in the storage of the collection. The static shelving capacity had been reached with existing collections and the Museum also wanted a significant increase in shelving capacity to allow room for future collection growth, and a better and safer working environment. A mobile shelving system was considered to be the best solution to increase shelving capacity in the store room and so the Museum commissioned Polstore to install a roller racking system for manuscript collections, to replace the static shelving.

Christopher Morton, the Collections Curator, had positive things to say about Polstore’s team and the way they carried out the installation. “I was particularly impressed by the pre-installation preparations, help with bespoke design options, discussion about our needs, and the passion for helping us find a solution to our needs. The team were responsive and highly skilled, and sensitive to working in the secure environment of a museum”.

“We originally selected Polstore in the early 1990s due to the high specifications needed for photographic storage, and we have continued over the years to value the quality of Polstore for this type of material”. – Christopher Morton, Curator of Photograph and Manuscript collections