January 27, 2022

UK: Cambridge University Library Begins Building Off-Site Storage Facility

From Cambridge News:

Cambridge University is building a new library storage facility in Ely after running out of space to house more than eight million books and manuscripts.

Work on a £17.1 million off-site storage facility to house the growing collection began earlier this month, with a traditional ground-breaking ceremony at the new construction site at Lancaster Way Business Park.


Despite Cambridge University Library having room for more than 2.5 million books on its open shelves, more than any other open-access collection in Europe, its 31.8 miles of open shelving are increasingly close to capacity.


The first books are scheduled to begin arriving from early 2018 to the new store, which will provide 65 miles of storage space on around 30,000 shelves. The highest shelf will be 11m, the height of two giraffes, and the university say the store will hold the equivalent of 18 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of books.

The move won’t be fully complete until 2025, but library requests of material can be delivered to the University Library within one to two working days.

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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.