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Thursday, 7th October 2010

Oxford University: A Look at the Bodleian Library's New Book Storage Facility

One article about book storage facilities deserves another. Just a little while ago we posted about Michael Sheehy being named the new leader of the Harvard Book Storage facility.

This post offers a link to a report in The Independent (UK) about the new Bodleian Library Book Storage Facility (BSF). The report is headlined, "What do you do with 8 million books? Build a shelf 153 miles long."

Welcome to the new home for books owned by Oxford University's Bodleian Library, which has found that its historic entitlement to a copy of every volume published in the UK had led to it running out of storage space.


Desperate times led to desperate measures and for the past few years part of its mammoth collection has been housed in a former salt mine in Cheshire. This week though, a solution is being unveiled in the form of a giant 26m warehouse in South Marston, near Swindon. The vast structure has the capacity to keep pace with the demand for shelf space for at least 20 years.

Over the course of the next 12 months, nearly six million books as well as more than 1.2 million maps will be transferred from Oxford to the Book Storage Facility (BSF) in the biggest move in the history of the library.


The 153 miles of storage space includes 11 metre-high racks on 31 narrow aisles, each of which are 71 metres long. There are a total of 3,224 bays with 95,000 shelf levels in the warehouse, as well as 600 map cabinets.

Much more in the complete article from The Independent.

Hat Tip and Thanks to CILIPinfo

See Also: This web page from the Bodleian Library has more info and 20 pictures of the new facility.


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