When poor environmental conditions threatened some of the most important documents in early U.S. history, officials built a new $7.2 million library space featuring a preventive conservation approach. Project architect Cornelius Rusnov partnered with the local Spacesaver representative to plan and design an archival storage solution to meet the overarching conservation goals and exacting specifications of the collections.

The solution included compact mobile storage systems, perforated shelving, flat storage, and more.

Rare books stored flat on compact mobile shelving at the State Library of Pennsylvania


Compact mobile shelving allows books and other items to be stored on shelves on rails and cabinets on rails, eliminating wasted aisle space. Aisles are dynamically created at the point of need using mechanical-assist handles or electronic touchpads. Locks and passcodes restric access to authorized personnel.


With many volumes of rare books and one-of-a-kind manuscripts that needed to be stored, conservators decided that perforated shelving was a must. Perforated shelving allows air to circulate among the stacks not only via the aisles, but also through the shelves and the pages of the documents themselves.

Archival storage including perforated shelving for ventilation
Archival library and museum storage includes flat storage for rare books and manuscripts - PA State Library


Some historic books and manuscripts require flat storage to provide the necessary support for large, heavy, and / or fragile materials. Since all Spacesaver products are engineered and manufactured in the USA, The Storage Team consultants are able to provide custom shelving options to accommodate your collection.


Spacesaver storage solutions, museum storage, library storage, archival storage

This free download provides more details about the various solutions used at the State Library of Pennsylvania.

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The Storage Team consultants specialize in creating custom archival storage solutions for museums, libraries, and other institutions. As the only Spacesaver affiliate in the Mid-Atlantic, we can plan, install, and service an installation that’s engineered and custom-made in the USA to suit your needs.