January 28, 2022

Oxford University: A Look Inside the Bodleian Library’s Off-Site Storage Facility

From ThisIsWiltshire.co.uk:

Completed in late 2010, the £26m computerised and climate-controlled building began receiving books, journals and maps almost immediately. There are 153.5 miles of shelves, each more than 30 feet tall and accessed by a total of 31 aisles. The 129,900 sqare feet of floor took eight days to lay with 280 truckloads of concrete.


The storage facility was built to relieve pressure on the Bodleian’s buildings in Oxford and houses items less frequently demanded by researchers, students and academics than those retained in Oxford. Nevertheless, items are still demanded at the rate of more than 5,000 a week. Thanks to a system of bar-codes on items, boxes and shelves, and staff using giant motorised platforms, these items are gathered and transported in large batches along the A420 within hours of being requested.

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See Also: Off-Site Storage: Bodleian Libraries Completes Swindon Move (December 27, 2011)

See Also: The Bodleian Libraries complete major book moves

See Also: Bodleian Libraries open £26m Book Storage Facility (Video)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.