The new Avenir Collections Center represents a quantum leap in collections care. The 63,000-square-foot, two-level facility provides consolidated, state-of-the-art housing for nearly 4.1 million artifacts and specimens for the first time in the Museum’s 114-year history.
The collections center was custom-made, with the Research and Collections staff heavily involved in its design and construction, right down to selecting the floor color (white, so that pests can be easily seen). The cabinets were built to specification using the highest standards in stable storage conditions. No longer will specimens, such as butterflies, be shingled or crowded in drawers. Climate control regulates temperature and humidity appropriate to each collection. In newly equipped workspaces and labs, collections can be safely, efficiently, and comfortably studied and preserved by our own scientists, conservators, and archivists as well as by researchers from around the globe.
The artifacts and specimens are being carefully moved in phases, with 70 percent scheduled to be relocated by the end of 2015. The new Avenir Collection Center ensures that the stories, science, and wonder inherent in these treasures will endure for generations.