RE-ORG project overview: Qualicum Beach Museum

The Qualicum Beach Museum took part in the RE-ORG: Canada (West) training program in 2017–18. Their mixed collection of 2000 objects was stored in a space measuring 55 m².

Project leads: Lorraine Bell and Kathy Dobinson

Main storage challenges

ultipurpose area used as temporary storage before RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 1. Before RE-ORG: view of the multipurpose area, which was used as temporary storage.

Storage of both collection and non-collection items being stored together before RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 2. Before RE-ORG: view of storage, showing both collection items and non-collection items awaiting deaccessioning being stored together.

Storage aisles blocked by non-collection items and underutilized shelf space before RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 3. Before RE-ORG: view of storage, showing aisles blocked by non-collection items and underutilized shelf space along the back wall.

Project details

Within a year, the Qualicum Beach Museum was able to make the following storage improvements:

New shelving units and drawers for smaller delicate items after RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 4. After RE-ORG: new shelving units and drawers for smaller, more delicate items.

All non-collection items were relocated to an outbuilding after RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 5. After RE-ORG: all non-collection items were relocated to an outbuilding.

Custom-built slotted storage unit for framed works after RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 6. After RE-ORG: custom-built slotted storage unit for framed works.

Wall rack for long and thin objects using vertical storage surfaces after RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 7. After RE-ORG: wall rack for long and thin objects, which allowed a more efficient use of vertical storage surfaces.

Padded hooks for very long and thin objects installed above shelving units to maximize the use of wall space after RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 8. After RE-ORG: padded hooks for very long and thin objects installed above shelving units to maximize the use of wall space.

Large, oddly shaped objects stored and raised on pallets after RE-ORG

© Photo courtesy of Qualicum Beach Museum
Figure 9. After RE-ORG: large, oddly shaped objects stored and raised on pallets.

The project took approximately 11 months to complete with the help of no more than 5 team members during phases 1 to 3 and 9 team members during phase 4 (Table 1).

Table 1: timeline and breakdown of project phases
RE-ORG phase Number of months to complete Number of team members
1. Getting started 2 4
2. Storage condition report 4 5
3. Storage action plan 1 4
4. Storage reorganization implementation ~ 4 9

The RE-ORG project cost $23,602 to complete, with less than half being allocated to staff time and external services (Table 2). More than half of the budget was spent on tools and storage furniture. The Qualicum Beach Museum was also successful in securing a $10,000 grant from the Museums Assistance Program for the project.

Table 2: budget breakdown
Budget item Amount (CAN$)
Staff time 7,525
Tools, supplies and materials 2,554
Storage furniture 11,523
External services (such as contractors) 2,000
Total project cost 23,602

Based on the RE-ORG Self-evaluation Tool for Collections in Storage (PDF Version), the Qualicum Beach Museum made improvements in all four components of RE-ORG: “management,” “building and space,” “collection” and “furniture and small equipment.”

According to the results in Table 3, the “management” and “furniture and small equipment” components experienced the largest improvement with an increase of 43% and 42%, respectively (Figure 10).

Table 3: RE-ORG self-evaluation results
RE-ORG component Score (before) Score (after)
Management (maximum of 42 points) 12 30
Building and space (maximum of 54 points) 19 28
Collection (maximum of 51 points) 40 45
Furniture and small equipment (maximum of 33 points) 19 33
Graph illustrating the percentage of improvement to the scores for the RE-ORG self-evaluation tool for the Qualicum Beach Museum, details below

© Government of Canada, Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI 132794-0067
Figure 10. Graph illustrating the percentage of improvement to the scores for the RE-ORG self-evaluation tool, calculated by comparing scores before and after the storage reorganization project.

Description of Figure 10
RE-ORG component Percentage of improvement
Management 43%
Building and space 17%
Collection 10%
Furniture and small equipment 42%

Lessons learned

Based on the experience of the Qualicum Beach Museum, the following should be considered in future RE-ORG projects:

Additional resource

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