Moves of open shelf materials

Reading room closures

The process of moving books from Level 2 to Levels 5 to 8 has been completed, and all open shelf collections are now accessible again. We would like to thank readers for their patience during our relocation of stock.

Closure of Level 2

Level 2 is now permanently closed, and the books previously held there have been moved to Levels 5 to 8.

Construction of a goods lift at the Radcliffe Science Library

A public consultation was held in July 2016 regarding a proposal to create a new goods lift. We have recently obtained planning permission to take this project forward. Construction works began Monday 10 April 2017 and will be complete in the autumn.

Project overview

The lower sub-basement of the RSL is being redeveloped as a shared storage space for the four museums. Storage for the museums is currently spread across a number of sites and the use of the space within the sub-basement of the library will consolidate a large part of this.

The first stage in the redevelopment is the construction of an external lift, which will improve goods access from the parking area of the courtyard in front of the Museum of Natural History to the underground levels of the library. The work will take approximately six months.

Current status

Formation of the lift shaft is now complete, the lift top box structure and glass enclosure is now complete. External works are well underway due to complete shortly, final finishes and installation of the lift mechanisms are progressing.

Description of construction work

The creation of the lift shaft will start with a hole being cut in the concrete floor of the courtyard. This will cause some noise and vibration - the build team will do what they can to mitigate this. The team will cut through the car park level, go down through the Lankester Room and then create a lift pit in the -2 level. They will then build the walls back up, creating a lift shaft. A box will be installed to create a glass enclosure. Small lobbies from the lift will be created at levels -1 and -2.

28th Aug - 15th Sept

Ground floor (Car Park) - Waterproofing works, Paving works reinstatement

  • Week 1 - Reinstatement of existing paving following waterproofing works. Involves bedding down of pavers and compressing of loose bedding materials such as sand and aggregate.
    Disturbance - Medium-level disturbance due to the use of some cutting equipment for pavers, compressing loose materials with a Wacker plate.
  • Week 2 - Further waterproofing works to front side of lift shaft, this involves use of Asphalt (hot tar material).
    Disturbance - some odd smells due to the heating of Asphalt and application of, not noise is associated with this work.
  • Week 2 - Installation of stone cills around glass box base.
    Disturbance - some possible cutting of stone and low-level noise associated with mixing of mortar.
  • Week 3 - Reinstatement of further paving stones in parking bays fronting the new lift, removal of solid hoarding to be replaced with Heras fencing.
    Disturbance - Medium-level disturbance due to the use of some cutting equipment for pavers, compressing loose materials with a Wacker plate.

-1 Basement (Lankester room) & -2 Basement (The Stack) - Finishing trades

  • Decorations to all newly constructed elements, carpentry hanging new doors and forming architraves, final elements of mechanical and electrical installations, such as installation of lighting and small ventilation ductwork.
    Disturbance - Low-level disturbance from decorators painting, some noise from carpenters cutting and plaining timber and some noise from small power tools for installation of final electrical and mechanical items. Contractors will access the area via the fire escape stairs on the Abbot's Kitchen side of the library.

Other Works - Installation of the lift components

  • There will be a continuation of materials and lift components being delivered to site sporadically. The installation of these elements will continue over the next 6 weeks until completion.
    Disturbance - low-level disturbance due to the use of small power tools and some clanging and banging of materials and lift elements being maneuvered and positioned into place.

More information


Regular updates about upcoming works will be posted on this page.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience these works may cause. If you have any concerns regarding the above, please contact:

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