We’ve now been open for two weeks, and the library staff are getting used to the new layout just as much as readers are. The book move took months of planning, and it’s pleasing to see how well the new arrangement works in practice and that most readers have been happy with it. A few books ended up being shelved in the wrong order, inevitable in such a big move. The library staff have been finding time to tidy these sections at times when there are few readers about. Much of the shelf signage is complete. The folio sections were especially disrupted while in store, and we are pleased that they are now back on open access and upright.
We’ve moved as much of the collection as possible to the open shelves, and regret that many periodicals have had to remain in closed access. Exceptions include the four most frequently requested periodicals (see below) and many record society and similar source-based series. The Current Periodicals room on the ground floor houses the last three or four years of most titles.
As most people will already have discovered, the 1st floor houses British (including local), Irish, Crusades, Byzantine and Church history. On the 2nd floor are the other European collections. The Military and International Relations collections are in the basement. Still under construction is a further room on the 2nd floor which will contain substantial parts of the American and Colonial collections. Watch this blog later in the year for news of its completion and opening.
Please note that three collections – Scottish, Spanish local and German – are shelved in rooms which double up as meeting rooms. Please check the IHR diary if you are planning to use these collections. Items can be reserved in advance of your visit if necessary. The rooms are:
- Scottish History: Professor Olga Crisp room (room N102)
- Spanish Regional: John S Cohen room (N203)
- German History: Peter Marshall room (N204)
- German local: Past and Present room (N202)
Some of the older (pre-1750) and rarer material has been classmarked S and is being kept in closed access for reasons of security. These books can be requested as usual, and will be stored in the library office when not in use.
The main changes to where items are shelved are as follows:
Collections moved from closed access to open access
- Four heavily-used periodicals – Historical Research, English Historical Review, Past and Present and History
- Most folios (BB and other double letters)
- A new sequence of oversized folios (BBB and other triple letters)
- Most International Relations and Military History
- Spanish Regional
- Most German and Low Countries
- Selections from the general collection (all of E.1 Historiography, E.4 Holy Roman Empire, E.6 Medieval European history, selections from E.2 Reference works, E.3 General European history and E.7 Modern European history)
Collections moved from offsite to onsite store
- European Universities (E.8)
- Other selections from the general collection (the parts of E.2, E.3, E.7 not on open access)
Signage, catalogue and website updates are still ongoing, but do pop in and see staff in the library enquiry office if you have any questions.