The Civil War-era submarine H.L. Hunley yielded many remarkable historical treasures when it was raised from the ocean floor in 2000.
For a number of years, the smaller items – including textiles and wooden benches – were stored in a laboratory on the site of Clemson University’s Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, SC. Unfortunately, the southern humidity and high temperatures, combined with temperamental HVAC equipment in the lab, put the enduring quality of those items in jeopardy.
HOW STORAGE MADE THE DIFFERENCE.
The Center purchased a pair of refurbished 40-ft.-long intermodal, refrigerated shipping containers – one to hold organic artifacts and one for metal objects. These containers were customized with HVAC controls, lighting, entry doors and security systems for the purpose of storing and protecting these unique historical artifacts. With most of its museum pieces already counted, weighed and catalogued, the center relied on Patterson Pope to design a storage system custom-made for its artifacts.
In the container holding organic material, museum cabinets, reinforced shelving and pull-out drawers were used. A flat worktop was added to a central cabinet, creating an additional workstation. Bi-fold doors were added to make it easy to store and access the large, eight-foot wooden benches rescued from inside the submarine. Stored items also included a variety of organic materials and textiles, including personal effects of the crew.
(Museum cases shown are manufactured by Delta Designs Ltd. of Topeka, KS)
“Working with Patterson Pope was a really good experience,” said Rivera-Diaz. “We have a small collection compared to other museums. Patterson Pope was able to devise a solution that perfectly accommodated our diverse artifacts and needs. Thanks to the work they did, everything fits and everything’s protected. We feel good knowing we made the right decision – for us and for the collection.”