Since the summer of 2016, movers have carefully packed millions of artifacts at Ruthven and Kipke, loaded them onto trucks, and unpacked them at their new home at the Research Museums Center (formerly called Varsity Drive) in south Ann Arbor. We have kept track of the progress with bimonthly updates for nearly two years. As of March 2018, the move is complete and this is the last update in the series.
After nearly two years, the process of moving three million of the Museum’s artifacts from tightly packed old wooden cabinets and shelves to a spacious, climate-controlled building in south Ann Arbor is complete.
Movers from Corrigan transported the last truckload of artifacts on Friday, February 9, 2018.
Collection manager Lauren Fuka described the activities of the last day, which involved moving a number of oversized textiles. The textiles had been rolled onto bars (much like paper towels are rolled onto the cardboard center).
“The last collection to move out was rolled textiles,” Fuka wrote in an email. “Corrigan constructed a frame inside their truck so the rolls could travel without putting any weight on the fragile textiles. Once they had arrived at RMC, Irene and Kaylyn placed the textile rolls on the new customized textile storage racks.”
Rolling textiles saves space, Fuka explained, and it also prevents textiles from getting creases, which can happen when they are stored for a long time folded up in boxes and drawers.
Some textiles from the UMMAA collection are still folded, so Fuka and her team will spend time in the next few months rolling those and adding them to the textile storage racks at the Research Museums Center.
In the last few months, Fuka wrote, the Corrigan team moved collections from three different rooms at the Campus Safety Services Building (on South Campus) to the RMC. In total, they moved 73 cabinets (containing 1,164 drawers) and 114 shelving units (containing 802 shelves) from that building.
“And now the cabinets are all empty and the shelves are bare,” she wrote. “The room seems so much bigger now!”