Strategic Developments in Collection Storage of Libraries and Archives – Architectural, Technical, Political

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Strategic Developments in Collection Storage of Libraries and Archives – Architectural, Technical, Political

Citable link to this page


Title: Strategic Developments in Collection Storage of Libraries and Archives – Architectural, Technical, Political
Author: Shenton, Helen
Citation: Shenton, Helen. 2005. Strategic developments in collection storage. Liber Quarterly 15(3/4): 200-213.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: Over the past decade there have been significant developments in the storage conditions of library and archive collections. These range from using the thermal mass of a building itself to help control the environment within which collections are housed, to increased attempts at creating sustainable, “green” buildings to adapting elements from warehousing and the retail sectors to manage daily operational tasks.
There is currently a considerable amount of collection storage activity going on world-wide. In Australia, two of the State Libraries and the National Library of Australia are designing new storage facilities, while in the United States the Library of Congress is building in two off-site locations. Denmark, after the recent cross-domain national Danish preservation strategy, is planning to spend several million Euro on storage for museums, libraries and archives over the next 5 years. The Deutsche Bibliothek is planning a new store in Leipzig, while the National Libraries of Canada and Sweden are also planning new storage facilities. In Britain, Oxford University Library and the British Library are planning new facilities; and Cambridge University Library is constructing a phased extension to its current building and exploring funding for a final phase.
Perhaps more important, there are significant developments underway that will affect the storage of library collections in the future. These include not only the architectural aspect of how collections are stored, but also the publishing perspective about the future shape of what collections are to be stored and the organisational perspective of who stores material in the future.
This paper makes some observations about trends in library buildings and trends in collection storage, and quotes examples of some recent building projects. Alternative storage solutions to actually constructing a building are considered. This is followed by observations of some developments that will affect what exactly will need to be stored, centring on trends in publishing and on research into the future shape of the publishing output to the year 2020, in both print and digital formats. This research is supported by expert views canvassed from international comparator libraries about their future collections. Brief mention is made of other professional and political developments that could have an impact on what libraries will be storing, such as collaborative storage. The current major building programme being planned at the British Library is used to illustrate recent technical developments, for example the adaptation of warehouse technology, the use of automated retrieval, fire prevention and fire suppression. Finally, mention is made of a couple of future possibilities, such as off-site robotic scanning.
Published Version:
Other Sources:
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search