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veritas Harvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1325 May 2005

Harvard University Library Notes / January 2006 / No. 1329

HCL's Fine Arts Library Prepares Collections for Relocation

Following Harvard's 2008 commencement exercises, the 32 Quincy Street building that houses the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch Reisinger Museum, and the Fine Arts Library (FAL) will undergo a complete renovation. Accordingly, all 32 Quincy Street "tenants" will be temporarily relocated to other sites.

In preparation, HCL's Fine Arts Library is launching a major project to ready its collections for relocation. Although a relocation site for the FAL has not yet been identified, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is actively reviewing possible locations.

The FAL collections date from the 17th century to the present, and they include books, journals, photographs, slides, microforms, and audio-visual materials. Among the collections are significant numbers of oversized, fragile, and rare materials in need of rehousing or minor repair to ensure safe relocation. In addition, over half a million photographs and other portions of the collections must be prepared for the move. Given the physical characteristics of the collections and the amount of processing necessary in order to move them, the FAL Project to Prepare Collections for Relocation will begin in early 2006 and continue until 32 Quincy Street is vacated.

Finding adequate space to do the project within the already congested Fine Arts Library has proven to be a challenge. The project will require a secure room large enough to house collections and project supplies, and to allow preservation analysis and work, HD processing, and collection preparation. To accommodate the project, FAL's Aleph cataloging workroom will be transformed into a central processing area.

Moves will begin in early 2006, with staff in cataloging and acquisitions services moving to space on the third floor of 625 Mass. Ave., which also houses HCL Technical Services. The staff who are relocating will remain part of FAL.

Initially, 34,000 volumes will be processed and transferred to HD. This will free up space in the stacks for shelving photograph collections and oversized volumes once they have been rehoused and/or processed in preparation for moving.

FAL Reader Services Librarian Ron Tesler will serve as the relocation project manager, taking responsibility for planning and monitoring the movement of materials during the project. Tesler worked in the same capacity at Widener during the Widener Stacks Renovation project.


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