Collection Facility Planning: Preparing for the Next Renovation

The very nature of collecting means ever increasing demands on the facilities and equipment housing the collected materials and the need for ongoing and sustained planning to meet those demands. For most successful and active collecting institutions, over time, facilities become gradually more and more crowded and access to the collected material more and more challenging. Eventually the need to expand facilities becomes essential to continuing the important work of collecting the valuable materials required for research, education and cultural advancement. Whether that means a simple reorganization of space, major renovation, addition or a new building this webinar will provide an overview of the planning work needed before engaging in the design of new or improved facilities.

Considerations to be discussed include how to translate existing storage conditions into future storage need, how to address existing collection crowding and project collection growth and what is needed to facilitate access while developing an efficient storage system. Equally important is the understanding that a collection facility is not just about storage but also the spaces and tools needed to care for, research and access the collection materials. What is the impact of best practices in collection care, pest management, environment control and workflow on the organization of a collection facility? What are the spaces needed to accomplish the important tasks of curators, researchers, programmers, teachers and collection professionals in their work with collections? All of these will be explored in the course of this webinar.


Jeffrey WeatherstonJeff Weatherston is a principal and founder of WeatherstonBruer Associates a design practice specializing in design and planning for museums and cultural institutions. Founded in 2004 the firm is a consultancy tailored to work with museums, galleries, libraries and research institutions, planning and designing new facilities and exhibits. Jeff is an architect with over 30 years of experience. Of these he has spent the last 25 working specifically in the design and development of cultural facilities and museums. He has worked on a broad range of projects from planning studies for large institutions to the design of new facilities for community and cultural groups to the restoration of historic buildings as artifacts. Some of his more recent clients include the Yale Peabody Museum, the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, the New York State Museum and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

One area where Jeff has developed a unique focus is in the assessment of collection requirements and the planning of collection facilities. Central to this is the understanding that collection facilities are not just about storing specimens and artifacts but about providing access to, facilitating research of and caring for a collection. It is important to understand that each collection and an institution’s objectives for that collection is unique. Jeff works closely with each institution’s curatorial and collections staff to develop a comprehensive understanding of the specific requirements of their collection. Only through this interaction, with the folks most knowledgeable about the collection, can we begin to address the issues that must be resolved in the assessment of a collection’s facility needs. We integrate this understanding with our own in-depth knowledge of collection care and facility design to establish requirements and synthesize solutions.

Recorded: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Duration: 1 Hour 27 Minutes


Collection Facility Planning PowerPoint Slides

Collection Facility Planning – Preparing for the Next Renovation Handout


For closed captions, please access this via this link.