Outline of proposal to transfer the services and collections of the History Faculty Library from the Old Indian Institute Building to the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera in Long Vacation 2012
- The underlying proposal is to transfer the services and collections of the existing History Faculty Library (HFL) from the Old Indian Institute building to another part of the Bodleian Libraries estate to achieve various service improvements outlined below, to obviate involvement in the disruption of building works in the OII, and to reinvest £105k per annum of operating costs incurred by occupation of the OII.
- Relevant senior library staff have considered possible options for consolidation of services and collections in History into the Bodleian Libraries estate and the only sensible option appears to be the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera on the grounds that this is the main centre for library provision in History and will be adjacent to the special collections in the Weston Library when it opens in 2015.
- In consultation with other subjects concerned, especially Theology and English, the preferred option of incorporating the HFL services and collections into the Old Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera is: Consolidation of undergraduate lending (History only) and non-lending material (English, History) in the Radcliffe Camera and retention of research non-lending material in the Old Library. Theology to move to Lower Reading Room.
Under this option the key elements of the new arrangement are:
- Material currently on the shelves of the main level of the Upper Camera (Hansard and printed periodicals) will be relocated as appropriate to the Gladstone Link, the Bodleian Law Library, the Book Storage Facility.
- English undergraduate non-lending material will be moved from the Lower Camera to the main level of the Upper Camera providing an interdisciplinary reading room in the two subjects.
- Theology non-lending material will be moved from the Lower Camera to the Lower Reading Room and merge with the Theology and Patristics collections. The one exception would be the church history section which would be integrated with the Upper Camera S.Hist collection.
- Lending stock from the HFL will be moved to the Lower Camera and to the Gladstone Link. It can then be borrowed from the Lower Camera.
- A single staff point in the Lower Camera will provide an integrated reserve, circulation and enquiry desk for the Radcliffe Camera and Gladstone Link.
- We are looking into the feasibility of creating an office in the Upper Camera for a ‘History Information Services Team’ which would continue its core work in enquiry support, user education and collections development. This team would at peak times be able to provide local assistance and invigilation in the Upper Camera and otherwise dedicate its time to improving specialist services and support to historians.
- The rearrangement of the Lower Reading Room to create a consolidated service point announced for the Long Vacation of 2011 will proceed in 2012.
- It is not anticipated that any members of staff will be made redundant as a result of this proposal, although there will be changes to duties and responsibilities and some restructuring of reporting lines.
- The services and collections at the Library of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine are not affected by this initiative.
For details of the proposal, see the FAQ and the Revised Proposal Document (PDF, 2mb). It covers questions regarding what collections would move, why the Old Indian Institute building lift has become so important and how we plan to add more seating to the RadCam.