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NEW LIBRARY SHELVING SHOWCASES AND PROTECTS ARCHIVES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

In 1968 McMaster University Library acquired the archives and personal library of famed British philosopher, social and peace activist, and Nobel Laureate, Bertrand Russell. It has since become one of their most heavily used research collections with scholars from all over the world coming to McMaster to use the archives in their research.

UNIVERSITY WORKS WITH LOCAL ARCHITECTS TO DESIGN A NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of McMaster’s acquisition of the Bertrand Russell Archives, the University worked with local architects to design a state-of-the-art facility to house the collection. The facility, located at the University’s Sterling Street entrance, was formerly a private residence that was fully renovated and converted in just nine months.

The most important part of the renovation was making sure that the archives were properly stored and protected, so they reached out to the experts at Spacesaver Solutions Inc. 

A HIGH DENSITY SYSTEM, WOOD-TEK SHELVING AND DAY USE LOCKERS PROTECT AND BEAUTIFULLY DISPLAY THE ARCHIVES

Our Storage Expert met with McMaster’s librarians to design a solution to safely house Bertrand Russell’s large and diverse archives and a significant collection of books and other published materials across three separate areas. We designed a mechanical assist high-density system, Wood-Tek 4-Post shelving, and Day Use Lockers.

The University converted what was once a garage into a secure, climate controlled room, and we installed a mechanical assist high density system with recessed rails. This system maximizes the storage space in the room while ensuring the archives are properly stored and preserved.

In the reading room and a display area, we installed Wood-Tek 4-Post shelving to beautifully house much of the book collection. This shelving is a unique blend of wood and steel, featuring a wood front for a classic look, and a non off gassing metal frame to protect the collection. The system is completely adaptable and adjusts to the Library’s changing needs as the collection grows.

For the security of the collection, the University Library’s requirements included a place for researchers to store their personal belongings while in the Archives, We designed a metal bodied locker system with high pressure laminate doors and Digilock Axis Locks. The locks can be programmed for each new person and reset for the next researcher when they’re finished.

The librarians and staff are thrilled with their new space and systems that protect and display their collection.

The University Library has worked with Spacesaver Solutions Inc. on a number of projects over the years, but the Bertrand Russell Archives was something special. We’re delighted with the results both in the traditional compact shelving and the public areas of the archives, where the Wood-Tek shelving and Day Use Lockers allow us to showcase and protect the collection for future generations of researchers.

Wade Wyckoff

Associate University Librarian, Collections, McMaster University

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