The new VMNH building where our lab is located officially opened on March 31, 2007. However, with a collection our size (which numbers in the tens of millions across all departments) the move doesn’t happen overnight.
In fact, moving the VMNH collections is a hugely complicated process. Specimens had to be moved in a particular order, because some collections will be using cases vacated by other collections. Many of the collections are so fragile that they require careful packing to move them the eight blocks from our old building to the new one. Pest control is an issue for many of the collections (pests are largely irrelevant to fossil collections, but they can be a big issue for biological are some archaeological samples).
With all of these concerns, the specimen cases for vertebrate paleontology were only installed last Friday. There are a total of 60 cases like the ones shown above allocated for VP. The cases are in a temperature-and humidity-controlled room, and are placed on a compactor system so that we can fit more cases into the available space. Even though each case is roughly 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide, some of our whales and dinosaurs are too large for them, so we also have open shelving for oversize specimens.
Now that the cases are installed, we can catch up on some of our cataloging that was delayed by the move, and move some of the prepared specimens out of the lab and into the cases (which opens lab space for new specimens).