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Closure of Special Collections from 7th February 2011

February 1, 2011

As you know it is essential to begin work on the first phase of the Library refurbishment by late May 2011. The work of refurbishment cannot begin until the Special Collections Department has been moved out of the Library because of the exceptional significance and value of its holdings. Work has been long underway to effect the move of Special Collections to its temporary housing in the Store building on the North Haugh. Most of the 1861-1900 monograph sequence (some 41,000 volumes), and around 1,000 boxes of muniment materials have already gone, and the photographic collection is currently moving.

However to effect the move of the totality of the collections, including the most rare and fragile materials, by the end of May deadline, the service to readers offered by the Special Collections Department will have to cease from the beginning of the Second Semester 2010-2011 (7 February 2011). This will allow the full staff of Special Collections to devote themselves to the move along with the additional staff who have been engaged to assist them.

Special Collections intends to implement a phased re-opening of its service at the North Haugh store from early June 2011. While access to the collections and other services including the answering of enquiries will not be possible between February and June 2011, a digital (scanning) service will be available to provide emergency digital access to some materials. If you wish to use this service, please contact Dr Norman Reid as soon as possible. Commitments which have already been made to teaching during Second Semester will be honoured.

We apologise for the inconvenience the closure will cause, and the rescheduling of work it may necessitate, but completing the move of Special Collections on time is an absolute necessity for the successful completion of Phase One of the Library project.

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