Compact Shelving Project Complete | Newberry

Compact Shelving Project Complete

Project Made Possible Through $25-Million

“Campaign for Tomorrow’s Newberry”

January 2012

The Newberry has completed one of the most critical projects under the auspices of the Campaign for Tomorrow’s Newberry; the installation of compact shelving on three floors of its Stack Building. Made possible by the generous support of the late Gerald F. Fitzgerald, Sr., and his wife, Marjorie, the project has given the library a stunning 13.75 miles of new shelving and the equivalent of a full floor of additional storage. All materials are once again available for use.

“Our Stack Building had come very close to reaching its full capacity,” Newberry President David Spadafora said. “The Fitzgerald family’s support enables us to improve and consolidate our storage arrangements and keep acquiring important new materials for many years. We are extremely grateful to them for their dedication to the Newberry and its mission.”

Founded in 1887 and located in its current facility since 1893, today’s Newberry is home to more than 1.5 million books, 5 million manuscript pages (15,000 cubic feet), and 500,000 historic maps. Collection highlights include fifteenth-century volumes based on Ptolemy that are foundational for cartography; an illustrated roll chronicle of the kings of France down to Charles VII; the only Shakespeare first folio in Chicago; an extremely rare first edition of Don Quixote; the first Bible printed in North America; Thomas Jefferson’s copy of The Federalist Papers, with his annotations; American explorer William Clark’s account book; and multiple first editions of important modern novels such as Moby Dick and Ulysses.

Most of the library’s materials reside in the Stack Building, an environmentally controlled, 10-story facility that was built as an addition to the library in 1982. For the compact shelving project, the Newberry hired TAB Products Co LLC, a company with more than 60 years’ experience in records-management and storage systems and widely regarded as expert in the field. Newberry and TAB staff worked together to keep materials secure and in good order by keeping every item on-site throughout the project.

“This is a great achievement for our staff, who throughout the project worked hard to ensure that our collections remained safe and well-cared for; that the project was completed on time; and, most important, that the impact on our readers and their research was kept to a minimum,” Newberry Vice President Hjordis Halvorson said. “We’re very pleased with the entire team at TAB, which did excellent work and was a great partner.”

Publicly launched in fall 2011, the Campaign for Tomorrow’s Newberry will raise $25 million to provide resources to augment the depth and breadth of the library’s magnificent collections and improve their usability; make critical physical improvements to the library; provide important support for staff development and new initiatives; and strengthen the institution’s endowment.