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New design for the Weston Library

A new home for Oxford’s books

The New Bodleian Library, part of the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford which in turn are part of the University of Oxford, has undergone a complete makeover in accordance with the designs of architects Wilkinson Eyre and has been renamed the Weston Library.

It is now home to the Special Collections of the Bodleian Libraries, and the extensive and varied collections required entirely new storage systems to be provided throughout the building.

Following a competitive tendering process, shelving specialist Forster Ecospace was appointed to carry out the contract, valued at £2 million. Working with the Bodleian Libraries Estate Projects Office to ensure that the necessary range of high quality facilities to house the collections was provided, the contract included the following:

  • The design, fabrication and installation of the floor structure and flooring for the centre core of the building to provide a three storey high static shelving solution for the floors below ground level.
  • Braceless static and mobile shelving throughout to allow large items to be stored across both sides of double sided stacks to keep book collections in the correct sequence.
  • Mobile shelving equipped with torque limiters
  • Pull out picture racking with 'soft close' technology
  • Plan chests
  • Timber veneer clad book shelving within various reading rooms
  • Low level storage units with doors and veneered end panels and tops
  • Shelving within the staff offices and specialised work rooms

All the shelving, which provides some 40 linear kilometres of storage space, is manufactured from powder-coated galvanized steel to ensure optimal performance, longevity and neutrality sothat it presents no danger to stored materials.The installation, which is fully BS5454 compliant, was carried out over a two year period and was completed on time and on budget.

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