Alexander Library of Ornithology relocation

13 February 2018

The Alexander Library of Ornithology is moving from its current temporary location in the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL) to its new, permanent home in the Bodleian Libraries Book Storage Facility (BSF). Once material from the library has been transferred to the BSF it will be available to request for consultation in reading rooms.

The Alexander Library has been temporarily based on Level 2 of the RSL since April when the University's decision to close the Tinbergen Building created an immediate need to find alternative accommodation for the Library.

In Michaelmas term 2017 a review of spaces in which to permanently rehouse the Alexander Library was undertaken by the Bodleian Libraries in consultation with affected staff. With pressure on suitable open-shelf and secure storage space, the most appropriate home was determined to be the Book Storage Facility. Ownership of RSL Level 2 has now officially been transferred to the University Museums.

Having the Alexander Library materials at the BSF will mean that previously open-shelf collections (including most books, journals and reprints) will now be available to order from the SOLO catalogue to reading rooms around the Bodleian Libraries, including the RSL and Weston Library. Improved cataloguing of this material will increase its visibility on SOLO and it will be available via Scan-and-Deliver digitization services to University members. Rare book material and archives will benefit from improved preservation and storage conditions, and will be available to order and view in the Weston Library only. Access to these special collections will be increased through the longer opening hours of the Special Collections Reading Room compared to the current arrangements at the RSL.

The move of materials from the RSL to the BSF will begin on 19 February 2018 and will take approximately four to five months to complete. The Alexander Library will remain open in the RSL during this time, although sections of the collection may be unavailable for consultation while they are being boxed and transported. The Libraries will aim to minimize the time that material is inaccessible but would encourage readers to check availability in advance of visiting.

The main point of contact for the collection will be Alexander Librarian, Sophie Wilcox, who will continue to be based in the RSL during the following times:

  • Monday Wednesday: 9.30am - 2pm (during school terms)
  • Monday Tuesday: 9.30am - 5pm (during school vacations)

The Alexander Library of Ornithology is one of the foremost ornithological reference libraries in the world. It holds extensive collections of 19th, 20th and 21st century books, pamphlets and periodicals, and an archive of ornithological notebooks and diaries. It is an international resource with the collections covering ornithology, natural history, conservation, ecology and behaviour.

The Bodleian Library apologises for any inconvenience caused.

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