Artifact Storage: Tray Solutions

TRAY SOLUTIONS

Images below help illustrate some artifact storage ideas.  A tray is a kind of box with low sides.  If the sides are high enough to protect the full object, we often call it a box.  If there are no sides at all, we call it a pallet.

PROS:

  • Faster than a full box
  • Prevents objects from touching
  • Gives each object its own space
  • Side-by-side trays and boxes brace each other in the drawer
  • Easier to pick up than pallets
  • Better visibility than a box
  • Allows density of objects if done well
  • Catches possible fragments

CONS:

  • Does not provide full height protection of a box
  • Not as fast as bag, pallet, or collar
  • Harder to access and use tie-downs than a pallet
  • No long term dust or water protection

TIPS:

Use with bumpers to provide support

Cushion when needed

Use with sub-dividers (board or paper accordion for example)

Write the number on the tray in at least two locations

Include the outline of the object on the tray for aid in orienting later

Use with items too heavy for a pallet

Chose a tray over a pallet if the consequences of touching are high

See also: box solutions, pallet solutions, bag/pad/interleave solutions, and tips n’ tricks.

Trays allow dense storage while preventing objects from touching.

Trays allow dense storage while preventing objects from touching.

Basket trays include bumpers to prevent baskets from flipping out.

Basket trays include bumpers to prevent baskets from flipping out.

Trays with bumpers work well for smaller baskets and give an easy place to lift at the corner.

Trays with bumpers work well for smaller baskets and give an easy place to lift at the corner.

Pre-made boxes can be used as trays, sub-divided with paper to hold smaller items.

Pre-made boxes can be used as trays, sub-divided with paper to hold smaller items.

Blotter paper is a nice material for subdividing trays.

Blotter paper is a nice material for subdividing trays.

Accordion-folded paper is a quick divider in a tray.

Accordion-folded paper is a quick divider in a tray.

Trays with dividers are great for dense storage.

Trays with dividers are great for dense storage.

This book has a piece of Tyvek to help lift it out of the tray.

This book has a piece of Tyvek to help lift it out of the tray.

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One Response to Artifact Storage: Tray Solutions

  1. Thanks for the great suggestions for bone material storage, I am working my way through upgrading storage in an archaeology collection, and this is very timely.

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