14 January 2011
The Bodleian Book Storage Facility takes delivery of its one millionth item – a bound copy of The Journal of General Physiology 1918.
Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian, formally received the one millionth item into the Bodleian Book Storage Facility in Swindon on Friday 14 January 2011. This extraordinary feat has been achieved in just under three months and has required an average daily ingest rate of 19,000 books and periodicals per day by 32 staff. On peak days, and depending on the materials, as many as 42,000 items have been ingested.
Comprising the equivalent of 154 miles of shelving, the facility is an enormous purpose-built warehouse with a capacity of holding 8.4 million volumes. 6.5 million volumes will be moved into the BSF in the first phase which began three months ago and is scheduled to completed by December 2011. The facility is built from 850,000 bolts and 1 million rivets. The total area of shelf surfaces inside the facility is equivalent to 16.5 football pitches.
The new book warehouse, in South Marston, near Swindon, will store lower-usage items from the Libraries’ collections that had overwhelmed the existing bookstacks and required additional temporary storage in various locations in and outside Oxford. These collections will now be brought together at the BSF, including books, maps, manuscripts, microfilms, periodicals and newspapers primarily from the 18th century onwards. Over the next year nearly 6 million books will be moved into the BSF in what will be the biggest book move in the Bodleian’s history. The Journal of General Physiology 1918 was the one millionth item to arrive at the Book Storage Facility.
The Bodleian Libraries receive 1,000 new books every working day through Legal Deposit, purchases, donations and archive bequests. Every year the Libraries require an additional 3 miles of shelving. The BSF has the initial capacity to support the Library’s projected collections’ growth over the next 20 years with space on the 13-acre site to build additional storage space.