The Provost and Bursar joined the Librarian and Library staff for a tour of the new Interim Research Collections Study Centre in the basement of the Ussher Library  ahead of its opening to readers.

It is the new home to a Joint Research Collections Reading Room for Early Printed Books, Special Collections and Manuscripts & Archives for the duration of the Old Library Redevelopment Project (OLRP). The collections include the Library's oldest and most precious books, maps, manuscripts, and archives, with collections dating from 13th-century BC to the present day. The Glucksman Map Library Reading Room will also reopen alongside the temporary new Study Centre.

As part of the Old Library Redevelopment Project, the Old Library has now been emptied of its collections amounting to over 700,000 items, including 350,000 book volumes.

Librarian & College Archivist, Helen Shenton said:

Significant thought, planning and care has gone into safely moving collections on this scale. The dedication, flexibility and ingenuity of Library staff involved in this effort have been especially remarkable.

The Provost and Bursar were shown around the new space where Research Collections items were on display including those drawn from the Fagel Collection, Medieval Manuscripts Collection and Brendan Kennelly archive as well as maps of her own native Cork.

Provost, Linda Doyle said: 

The decant of material, led by the Library team, and the transfer and opening of the Interim Research Collections Study Centre has been a massive operation, with more than 50 Library staff assisted by up to 40 project assistants. This new Study Centre will be a very helpful support for researchers working with our fantastic collections. It marks a key stage in the Old Library Redevelopment Project.

Bursar & Director of Strategic Innovation, Professor Eleanor Denny thanked all staff involved, including Library, Estates and Facilities and IT Services as well as the design team.

Readers will continue to have access to all library material via this new Interim Research Collections Study Centre during the lifetime of the Old Library Redevelopment Project. They are supervised reading rooms, and reader spaces are reserved for those consulting Research Collections material. The Interim Research Collections Study Centre opened this week to readers. For all details click on the Library website’s opening hours and planning your visit guide.