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Old Library Redevelopment Project: Updates for Readers

When will the decant of collections in the Old Library be completed?

The relocation of collections in the Old Library started in April, 2022. We aim to have all material removed to secure offsite storage by December 2023.

Will Research Collections materials remain available to consult?

Yes. Over the lifetime of the project there will be continuity of access to Research Collections material, of all Library services, and to the expertise of Research Collections staff. Materials will remain requestable in the usual ways (see next section). Disruption will be kept at a minimum. There may be brief periods where certain collections are temporarily inaccessible during the relocation process, and we will alert our readers where directly relevant to their need. 

How can I request printed material from Research Collections?

Much of our holdings can be requested online using the Library Catalogue:

You will be prompted to request material using our ‘click and collect’ service or by using a call slip. Reference material on open access in the Joint Reading Room can be consulted without ordering in advance.

The catalogue does not show a shelfmark and says the item may be temporarily unavailable. What can I do?

While we are keeping disruption to services at a minimum, there may be periods where certain collections are temporarily inaccessible during the relocation process. If the catalogue does not display a shelfmark please visit the Joint Reading Room or contact Research Collections ( with the relevant information (author, title, date of publication etc.). We can then advise you on when the work will be available to consult.

OK, I have requested material from Research Collections. When will it be ready to consult?

Printed material held offsite is delivered to the Joint Reading Room three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday). For the small amount of material that remains onsite, delivery times are more frequent. You will only receive a notification email for material requested using our online ‘click and collect’ service.

Where can I consult Research Collections material?

We continue to use our Joint Reading Room in the Old Library (access via the Library [former Berkeley Library] tunnel). For more information on location, opening times etc, please see:  

In December 2023, the Research Collections service will move to a new interim Research Collections Study Centre in the basement of the Ussher Library. This will act as the joint reading room for Early Printed Books, Special Collections, and Manuscripts & Archives collections.

Will any other Library reading rooms be affected?

There will be no change to access to any of the contemporary Library buildings except in the Ussher Library basement, where construction works will take place throughout 2023 to prepare the interim Research Collections Study Centre. Disruption will be kept to a minimum.

How will I access the Glucksman Map Library?

Renovation has been underway since February 2023 in the Ussher Library Basement to make way for the new interim Research Collections Study Centre as part of the Old Library Redevelopment Project. The basement level has been closed to readers and the Glucksman Map Library reading room is temporarily inaccessible (physically). There is continuity of service with a scan on demand and enquiry service available during this period. Map Library staff continue to have access to the collections for this purpose except when collections are being relocated. The Map Library reading room will reopen alongside the interim Research Collections Study Centre early in 2024. All requests for the scan on demand service may be submitted to the Map Library, email: .

I still have a question …

For queries related to our printed collection please email; for manuscript and archive holdings please use

Be sure to check out our ‘planning your visit’ page which may provide some helpful information.