Newberry's Compact Shelving Project

[This news story has been updated as of January 2012 with a new article, Compact Shelving Project Complete.]

July 2011

From July 1, 2011 to January 1, 2012, the Newberry will install compact shelving on the lower three floors of its 10-floor book stack building. The library will remain open during construction, but collections on the affected floors will be unavailable over the course of the project.

This important upgrade to our book stack building is being funded by the generous support of Gerald F. Fitzgerald, Sr., a longtime Trustee who died in 2010, and his wife, Marjorie. Over the past decade, as the collections continued to grow, the book stack building reached capacity. During the Newberry Strategic Plan of 2008 additional stack capacity was prioritized. With this essential upgrade, the Newberry will gain the equivalent of one new floor of stack space, which will include both general collection and special collection materials, including one-half floor of archival storage.

Many heavily-used collections will be unaffected by the construction and will be available for use during the entire compact shelving project.

  • All Special Collections used in the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections Reading Room (fourth floor) will be available. This includes all maps and manuscripts, and all items with the following prefixes: Case, Case Wing, Ayer, Baskes, Bonaparte, Driscoll, Graff, Greenlee, FRC, Inc, Vault, and Wing.
  • Over half of the General Collections consulted in the Regenstein Reading Room (second floor) will be available during the entire construction period. This includes any material cataloged since 1978, newspapers on microfilm, journals with the A5 prefix, genealogy and local history materials with F8 & F9 prefixes, and 8A sheet music.

Specifics on the Collections Affected

From the outset of the planning, the Newberry decided to keep library materials onsite during the project to minimize handling and for security purposes. While the floor is under construction, however, material on the affected floor will not be available for readers, fellows, or staff. Journals and active serials on the three floors will be unavailable for the entire course of the project.

Currently, construction is in progress on all three of the floors, and the following materials are not available:

General Collections Floor BA. Classification: V-Y (excluding sheet music VM and VMT), ZZ, Pamphlets, Uncataloged Sheet Music

  • V-Music
  • VM-Music Editions
  • VMT-Music Treatises
  • W-Art 
  • X-Philology & Linguistics
  • Y-Literature
  • Anything with “pamphlet” prefix
  • Uncataloged sheet music and usVM

General Collections Floor B. Classification: L-U, A6 Newspapers, Government Documents, Fixed Location 7A, 5A, 3A

  • A6 Newspapers
  • 3A, 5A, 7A
  • L-P- Sciences
  • Q- Ethnology
  • R & T- Technology
  • U- Army & Navy
  • Government Documents 

General Collections Floor One. Classification: F 0-7, G, H, I, J, K  

  • F- History (F02-F09 Antiquities, Heraldry, Periods; F3-5 Europe; F6 Asia; F7 Africa)
  • G- Travel
  • H & I- Social Sciences (Economics, Sociology, Education)
  • J- Political Science
  • K- Legislation (Statutes, Acts, Laws)

As the project moves out of the construction phase on floors B and BA and materials are put into the new compact shelving on those floors, the materials will gradually come back into circulation. Materials on floor one will be out of circulation until January, 2012.

The Newberry is very excited to embark on this important project and apologizes for any inconvenience it may cause for researchers.