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Last updated: June 22, 2016

Preserving Rare Books & Historic Documents

compactable mobile shelvesA historic college library was entrusted with promoting the understanding and preservation of a variety of primary source materials, including over 14,000 rare books, manuscripts, maps, and other items. These delicate materials need to be stored in a way that maintains their integrity and still allows scholars to retrieve them for research, but their space, like most other facilities, was limited. The library also wanted enough room to provide a comfortable space for their students. Read on to learn how compactable mobile shelves were able to maximize archival storage capacity and improve access while preserving integrity and leaving enough room for student spaces. Click here to learn more about how compactable mobile shelves work.

Compactable Mobile Shelves for Preservation & Access

Before compactable mobile shelves were installed, the library struggled to find the balance between preservation and protection of materials and providing open and comfortable collaboration spaces for students. The rare books require a highly regulated environment that needs extra space and, in some cases, dedicated special collections rooms. The shelving solution would need to help staff care for these materials while making them retrievable and maintaining temperature, humidity, and airflow to be as stable as possible. A few years before, the library had resorted to offsite storage so they would have room for student spaces, but this wasn't convenient for researchers to access and was already nearing full capacity.maximize archival storage capacity compactable mobile shelving

To meet modern demands in a restricted space, the library wanted to consolidate their storage to free up their existing space for collaborative and study areas while still maintaining stable temperature and airflow for preserving materials. For this, custom-built perforated library book shelves were installed that would allow air to flow from wide to side and also up and down through the shelves.

The historic college library then added 48 compactable mobile shelves to the third floor, allowing more books to be relocated to the storage from the fourth floor. The mobile system allows the library to protect their collection, provide safe and convenient retrieval, and free up space for other uses while avoiding extra expenses on additions to their building of offsite storage. The space created on the fourth floor is now used as a research and study area for students. Click here to watch how a museum was also able to improve their storage of rare books and manuscripts with high density shelving systems.

Contact Us for Compactable Mobile Shelves

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for compactable mobile shelves to maximize archival storage capacity for a variety of facilities. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


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