We are embarking on a new phase of renovation that will focus on the David. M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This work will bring new environmental controls, beautiful study and event spaces, and expanded exhibit areas to create a space worthy of a world-class library. It’s very exciting but there is a lot of work to do before construction can begin.
First we must move the entire special collections library (collections and people) to make way for construction. It is no small feat to move a library and it involves not only Rubenstein staff but many people from across the library including Conservation Services. The project to prepare and move the collections is called the “Enabling Project.” Over the next year we thought we would share a little bit about what we are doing as Enablers.
Last fall conservation staff conducted several surveys of key stack areas that helped determine the human and budgetary resources needed to prepare the physical collections for the move. We have developed a timeline for major projects, assigned conservation staff members as project managers, and hired four students and one new technician to help with the work (more on our new technician soon). I’m keeping a list of “known knowns” as items are found in the stacks that will need our help before they move. I also have a list of “known and unknown unknowns” because the stacks are sometimes a mysterious place and things are lurking in corners that we know we will have to deal with at some point.
There is much more happening behind the scenes that won’t make it to the blog. Conservation staff is working very closely with Rubenstein staff to help ensure our collections are safely moved to swing space, and eventually moved back into the new space. I’d like to express a very hearty thank you to all the staff, students and volunteers in Conservation for their hard work. This will be an extraordinary year for us as we juggle the Enabling Project on top of our normal repair workflows. Our flexibility and patience will surely be tested over the next several months, but I know we have a strong team and we will get the job done. I am so proud of each and every one of you!