Case Study: Kingman Museum



  • Gracefully pack, relocate and deliver all elements and collections of the Kingman Museum to a climate-controlled warehouse for long-term storage
  • Limited crew and volunteers ready to contribute due to Covid-19 regulations
  • Systematically catalog each item throughout move process


Desired Outcome:

  • Safely guard and transport museum artifacts
  • Ensure all pieces are properly protected for extended storage
  • Engage with museum authorities to guarantee items are relocated in the best possible way


Scope of Services:

  • Custom packing and crating for extraordinary, rare, delicate and high-value museum artifacts
  • Transportation of all pieces to warehouse storage owned by the museum
  • Safeguard items from any moisture or unwanted situation while being stored



“You have to relate to your customer,” said Steve Wayward, while recalling his experience working together with the Kingman Museum. “Their team reached out to Corrigan when they decided to relocate the museum. They were familiar with our reputation, and the fact that we’ve provided successful solutions for different museums in the area. After the initial discussion with them, I knew immediately what we could offer them, and I’m certain they knew right away, as well. Sometimes it’s that first interaction that tells you the relationship is a good fit. In this particular case, it was.”

As Director of Commercial Projects, Steve has participated in his fair share of museum moves, although, this museum move was a little different from all previous projects. “They have an incredibly broad collection,” explained Wayward. “There’s anything and everything from Native American relics to taxidermy. Having such a large range of items proved to be an interesting challenge for us, so we had to clearly collaborate with the experts at the museum. They identify with their artifacts best, and this was unquestionably an occasion where our team relied on them for their expertise and the best way to proceed. As a result of their intimate understanding, we then were able to demonstrate solutions for moving the museum. That cooperation proved to be fundamental to this move being effective.”


The collective spirit of this project began immediately. After the museum was presented the moving quote, Steve worked with them to identify projects that the museum staff could handle packing on their own. With Covid-19 restrictions in place, that meant a reduced number of volunteers and staff were available to help complete the project. “Inspiring them with the right information and resources helped the museum’s team to line up the scope of services with the budget”, stated Steve. “Our team of movers provided the technical direction, tools, resources and materials. The museum provided the artifact experts and packing labor for a good amount of the relocation. Everything worked well, not only keeping them within their budget, but the staff was so well-versed, we couldn’t have packed some items any finer. Given the right resources and experienced people in place, you can accomplish a lot with a small team. At the end of the day, by their staff participating, they reduced their quote by nearly half. They were amazing.”

Following further discussions, a slow and steady pace was agreed on. Generally speaking, commercial jobs are thoroughly packed, then move to their new destination. In this case, packing and then relocating specific areas of the museum, in sections, proved to be the best method. During the period of 4 weeks, Corrigan had 3 employees on site daily to work beside the Kingman team. Moving strategically throughout the storage areas and exhibits, each area was packed and transported before moving onto the next area.

Brian Stickler, warehouseman for the Corrigan Grand Rapids office, was one of the Corrigan crew members on site for this project. “Normally museums do not permit you to touch their artifacts, so this was a really once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s not common that you can touch the real taxidermy of a polar bear,” he expressed. “It was also a great chance to see and handle the items in the museum storage and archives. These were items off exhibit that the general public could not 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 few minutes to identify the most favorable solution to support and cautiously handle it. Its skeleton is mounted inside of an open-front case. We decided to place book boxes under it for support, and then pad around and underneath 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, they both were relocated perfectly.”


However, not all artifacts were large though. What established itself to be one of the biggest challenges collections to move included some of the smaller items. Inside of a storage cabinet laid about 20 trays of various animal eggs. “There were some large ostrich eggs all the way down to eggs about the size of a marble. We had to wear gloves of course, but those were probably some of the most delicate items I have ever moved,” noted Stickler.

How do you move such a delicate and fragile collection? “At about 5 miles an hour,” laughed Stickler. “To begin, we carefully laid down protective material and cushioning inside the truck. Then we laid each tray of eggs flat inside. There were two team members in personal vehicles, one in front of and another behind our semi-truck with their flashers on. Similar to a processional, driving literally 5 mph from the museum to their warehouse storage location. I was tense over every small bump, but every specimen was safely moved.”

Whether it was rocks, minerals, fossils, meteorites, taxidermy and everything along the way, every last article had to be meticulously organized for the museum records. “At the end of the day, that proved to be the predominant challenge of,” said Brian. “We created precise records of every item moved, what it was packed or wrapped in, and the final location inside of their storage warehouse. Being that the museum is storing all belongings until they find a new location, they must know the detailed location of every 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 safeguarded all boxes and artifacts using sheets of plastic. The primary goals was protecting the goods from moisture, with visibility for staff.

At this time, 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 Steve. “I look forward to reconnecting with them again and seeing how the museum can expand and develop within a new space.”

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