The University of Arizona Library in Tucson Arizona has an extensive map collection and many of the maps are housed in Ulrich Planfiles. We featured this library in one of our brochures from the 1980’s. As you can see from the photo, back in the 80’s, the Planfiles were directly on the floor arranged around the map room in rows.
Today, the Ulrich Planfiles are mounted to a movable aisle, high density system. This system is a series of moveable platforms that roll together and compress into a solid block. If you need something from a specific platform, you can separate the platforms to create an aisle where it is needed. The rest of the platforms stay together; saving space and allowing for more storage in a given area. Ulrich Planfiles use much less space than flat drawer files to begin with (about 66% less) but when they are used in conjunction with a movable aisle, high density system, the space savings is tremendous.
Ulrich Planfiles really work well on these systems because you do not have to allow for space to open the drawers. With the Planfile, all the filing is done from the top. The aisle only needs to be wide enough for the operator to comfortably work and there are no drawers to accidentally open as the platforms move.
The map collection at the University of Arizona is quite active. Hayri Yildririm, the Director of Library Facilities told us that many users access the maps on a regular basis. The combination of Ulrich’s space saving design and the movable aisle, high density system create a very efficient filing solution!