Case Study: Kingman Museum



  • Gracefully pack, move and deliver all elements and collections of the Kingman Museum to a climate-controlled warehouse for prolonged storage
  • Limited staff and volunteers available to assist due to coronavirus regulations
  • Systematically catalog each item throughout move process



  • Safely guard and relocate museum artifacts
  • Ensure all pieces are appropriately protected for long-term storage
  • Engage with museum curators to guarantee belongings are relocated systematically


Project Scope:

  • Customized handling and crating for unique, scarce, intricate and valuable museum artifacts
  • Transportation of all pieces to warehouse storage maintained by the museum
  • Protect items from any dampness or damaging situation while being stored



“You have to know your customer,” said Steve Wayward, while speaking of his adventure working with the Kingman Museum. “Their team approached Corrigan when they determined it was time to relocate the museum. They were aware of our reputation, and how we have supplied successful relocations for other museums in the region. After the initial discussion with their team, I knew exactly what we could offer them, and I’m certain they knew instantly, as well. Sometimes that first interaction that tells you the relationship is a good fit. In this case, it was.”

As Director of Commercial Projects, Steve has contributed to a number of of museum moves, although, this museum move was a touch different from his previous projects. “They have an incredibly diverse collection,” explained Wayward. “There is anything from Native American artifacts to taxidermy. Working with such a extensive range of pieces proved to be an intriguing challenge for our team, so we had to clearly collaborate with the experts at the museum. They identify with their artifacts best, and this was certainly an occasion where we relied on them for guidance on best way to proceed. As a result of their profound understanding, we then were able to demonstrate solutions for moving the museum. That collaboration proved to be key to this move being successful.”


The collaborative spirit of this project started right away. Once the museum was presented the moving quote, Steve worked with them to pinpoint areas that the museum staff could handle packing on their own. With Covid-19 restrictions in place, that meant a limited number of volunteers and staff were available to assist. “Empowering them with the right information and materials allowed the museum’s team to bring the scope of services with their budget”, stated Wayward. “Our movers provided the guidance, tools, resources and materials. The museum provided the artifact insights and packing labor for a good amount of the museum relocation. Things worked well, not only keeping them in line with their budget, but the staff was so well-versed, we couldn’t have packed some items any better. When you have the right resources and professional people in place, you can achieve so much with a small crew. In the end, by their staff helping, they reduced their quote by nearly half. They were great to work with.”

Following additional discussions, a slow and steady method was agreed to. Generally speaking, commercial moves are completely packed, then move to their new destination. In this case, packing and then relocating individual areas of the museum, piece by piece, proved to be the ideal strategy. Throughout the period of 4 weeks, Corrigan had 3 employees on site daily to work along with the Kingman team. Moving strategically through the storage areas and exhibits, each area was packed and moved relocated prior to moving onto the next section.

Brian Stickler, warehouseman for the Corrigan Grand Rapids office, was one of the Corrigan employees on location for the project. “Most museums do not allow you to touch their artifacts, so this was a really unique opportunity. It is not everyday you can touch the real taxidermy of a polar bear,” he explained. “It was also a fun opportunity to see and handle the pieces in the museum storage and archives. These items were off exhibit that the general public cannot view.”

The most unforgettable item handled during the relocation: “A saber-tooth tiger from the original excavation of the LaBrea Tar Pits,” said Stickler. “It took a minute to determine the ideal solution to support and cautiously handle it. Its skeleton is mounted inside of an open-front display case. We decided to place book boxes under her for support, and then pad around and under its teeth with paper. We then surrounded the display in foam and placed it inside a sofa carton. We used the same method for a dire wolf skeleton, and they both were moved perfectly.”


But, not all artifacts were large though. What proved to be one of the biggest challenges collections to move just so happened to include some of the smaller items. Within a storage cabinet laid nearly 20 trays of all sorts of animal eggs. “There were some large ostrich eggs as well as eggs about the size of a dime. We had to wear gloves of course, but those were certainly some of the most fragile items I have ever handled,” noted Stickler.

How is it that you move such a fragile and delicate collection? “At about 5 mph,” laughed Stickler. “We carefully laid down protective material and padding inside of the truck. Then we placed each tray of eggs flat inside. We had two team members in personal cars, escorting the semi-truck with their flashers on. Similar to a processional, going literally 5 mph from the museum to the warehouse storage location. It was jumpy over every small bump, but every single specimen was safely relocated.”

Whether it was rocks, minerals, fossils, meteorites, taxidermy and everything in between, every last article needed to be accurately cataloged for the museum records. “At the end of the day, that proved to be the greatest challenge of,” recalled Stickler. “We kept detailed records of every item we moved, what it was packed or wrapped in, and the final location inside of the storage warehouse. Because the museum is storing all belongings until they find a new location, they have to know the explicit location of each artifact. It was a tiresome task, however we were able to accomplish exactly what the museum required.”

After the entire museum’s contents were settled into the storage facility, Corrigan protected all boxes and artifacts with sheets of plastic. The objective was protecting the items from moisture, while remaining visible for staff.

Currently the museum remains closed, the artifacts are in storage until a permanent location is determined. “I’m certain that when the museum procures a new building, Corrigan will be there,” said Wayward. “I am anxiously looking forward to working with them again and seeing how the museum can expand and evolve within a new space.”

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