19 October 2015
October 2015 marks five years since the Bodleian Libraries' Book Storage Facility was unveiled.
This unique purpose-built warehouse in South Marston, on the outskirts of Swindon was designed as a bespoke storage facility for the Bodleian's vast collections.
The Book Storage Facility (BSF) stores lower-usage items from the Libraries' collections including books, maps, manuscripts, microfilms, periodicals and newspapers primarily from the 18th century onwards. The BSF was built as shelving space had been running out at the existing bookstacks across the Bodleian Libraries and in the temporary storage facilities already used by the Bodleian - both within Oxford and across the UK.
The £26-million facility includes an incredible 153 miles of shelving to hold from 12-13 million items. Since opening the Bodleian has received 1,000 new books every working day through Legal Deposit, purchases, donations and archive bequests. As of 7 October the facility holds exactly 8,519,034 items and is approximately two-thirds full.
The BSF provides a timely and professional service to readers at the Bodleian's many libraries across the University of Oxford. Requests for materials are made online via the Bodleian's online SOLO catalogue. Items are retrieved and then delivered to Oxford via vans that travel between Swindon and Oxford four times a day.
Coincidentally 6 October also saw the one millionth book request processed through the BSF. The book requested was Aristophanes by James Robson, and was requested at the Sackler Library by Classics scholar Aneurin Ellis-Evans, a Junior Research Fellow at Queen's College. To celebrate this milestone, Richard Ovenden presented Dr Ellis-Evans with a catalogue from the recent Marks of Genius exhibition held at the Weston Library.