Jungheinrich UK Ltd has supplied the materials handling equipment that will operate at The Bodleian Libraries’ prestigious new £26 million Book Storage Facility (BSF) in Swindon.
When full, the new warehouse will house some 8.4 million books, maps, manuscripts, microfilms, periodicals and newspapers dating back to the 18th century.
These collections had previously been stored in an 11 storey book stack housed within the New Bodleian Library at Oxford University and in a cavernous underground vault deep under the streets of Oxford itself, as well as temporary storage facilities outside the City.
The Book Storage Facility has been designed around 31 aisles of very narrow aisle (VNA) high density storage shelving. Each aisle is 71 metres long and the shelving is 11.4 metres high. The aisles will be served by a total of nine Jungheinrich EKS 312 Order Pickers.
The VNA order pickers have been fitted with two types of picking trolley specially designed by Jungheinrich to allow books to be quickly and easily picked to fulfil student and researcher book requests and then returned to be put away in their allocated location within the shelving.
In addition to the order pickers, Jungheinrich has supplied a fleet of powered pallet trucks and an electric powered counterbalance truck.
Moving the books to their new home will be a massive undertaking: over the next year nearly 6 million volumes will be transferred into the BSF in what will be the biggest book move in the Bodleian’s history.
Professor Andrew Hamilton, Oxford University’s Vice Chancellor, commented: "The importance of the Bodleian Libraries and their extraordinary collections cannot be overestimated. The completion of the Book Storage Facility ensures that the Libraries’ unparalleled collections are preserved and protected for future generations."
Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s Librarian, said: "The Book Storage Facility will provide a solution to the space problem that has long challenged the Bodleian. We have been running out of space since the 1970s and the situation has become increasingly desperate in the last few years. Now we can look to the future with confidence that we are preserving one of the world’s most complete records of the written word in state-of-the-art secure archival conditions."
Hans-Herbert Schultz, managing director of Jungheinrich UK Ltd, said: "The Bodleian Libraries’ new Book Storage Facility is a very high profile and specialised warehouse development. The collections that will be stored within it are, quite simply, priceless. We have worked closely with our partners from the Bodleian Libraries on the development of a materials handling solution that precisely meets their needs and the success of the project is a great testament to the dedication and commitment of our team and, indeed the quality of the Jungheinrich product range."