Like most archives and special collections, Drexel University College of Medicine’s Legacy Center keeps pretty busy. The Center is the repository for the records and heritage of the University and its predecessor institutions, including the Woman’s College of Pennsylvania (W/MCP) and Hahnemann University.

The collections offer a rare look into the history of women in medicine, evolving from W/MCP’s unique position as an all-female medical school, as well as insight on the history of homeopathic medicine, rooted in Hahnemann’s founding as the first school for homeopathic medicine in the United States.

“We have very active archives,” says Joanne Murray, Director of the Center. “We use them on a daily basis.” That daily use meant getting up on a lift everyday and lifting boxes that often weighed 50 lbs. or more. “It was really cumbersome,” Murray admits. This challenge, coupled with the fact that the Center’s collections seemed to be spread all over their home city of Philadelphia, had the staff yearning for a change.

One of the biggest questions the Center had was what kind of storage would best benefit their collections. “We knew it was our big opportunity to do it right, because this was going to be the permanent home for the collections.” Murray says. Murray and her team worked with DSSI to create a complete storage solution for the archives, the centerpiece of which is a high-density compact mobile shelving system for archival boxes, complete with shelves that slide out and serve as a temporary table for inspecting a particular archive. DSSI also worked with the University on archival storage of art and photography collection as well as 4-post static shelving in some areas of the collections.


Murray appreciates the retractable shelves, and she also values another aspect of the compact mobile shelving system—the passive safety features. “I know that if I walk in and there’s an aisle open, I can go ahead and close it and not be worried that someone is in there—it won’t close if someone is there,” she says. “I know these seem like little things—but it’s something that us archivists really appreciate.”


Murray says that she turned to DSSI’s Storage Team and Spacesaver because she knew that they would not only give the Center the best variety of products, but would also make sure it was the best product for them specifically. “Everything is under one roof, and finally being able to access that efficiently has made a huge difference.”

We’ve worked with universities on all aspects of their campus storage challenges, including library storage, off-site archival storage, athletic equipment storage, campus police departments, administrative offices, and more. At Thomas Jefferson University, we turned the school’s Scott Resource Center into an efficient, attractive way to store their inventory of 3-D models and artifacts.