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Abilene, Kansas - USA

Eisenhower Presidential Library

The museums & the collections

The museum honoring President Dwight Eisenhower in his childhood home in Kansas, initially opened in 1954, underwent its first comprehensive renovation since the 1970s. The modernized exhibits in the 25,000 ft² museum in Abilene feature new display cases, videos and digital interactive stations where visitors learn about Eisenhower’s presidency from 1953 to 1961 and about his experience before that, during World War II — when he was a U.S. Army general who served as supreme commander of the Allied forces. The museum’s vast collection includes approximately 26 million pages of historical records and papers, 335,000 photographs, 750,000 feet of original motion picture film, and 70,000 artifacts.

The assignment & the challenges

We were selected through a tender process to provide 28 custom-made showcases of 6 different types, including large freestanding wall cases and large irregularly shaped cases. The cases featured passive climate controls as well as contact and vibration sensors. Some had integrated LED lighting. This was our first project for a US Presidential Library. US Presidential Libraries are storing governmental records, and are hence all part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) network (at the exception of the new Obama Presidential Library). NARA holds all the records of the US Federal Government, and when it comes to exhibit conservation requirements, it has issued very strict guidelines which are often considered as a reference in the museum world. As such, all our display cases had to be approved by NARA.

The solutions & the result

NARA sent some of their representatives to our location in Ghent, Belgium, to proceed an in-depth inspection of our cases. Our specifications have since then been used as a benchmark by NARA when working with other display case suppliers. In addition, installing the irregularly shaped showcases was more challenging than installing a standard case. We had to lift the whole 400 ft² top structure in order to obtain perfect alignment of the top and bottom structures of these extraordinary showcases. Moreover, the back glass had to be glued to the rest of the case, before we could push the entire case to the wall.

© David Mayes Photography

Project

Eisenhower Presidential Library

Solutions

Custom Design

Country

USA

Year

2019

Type of museum

Library

Designer

The PRD Group

Scope

28 bespoke cases

More info

© David Mayes Photography


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