As a Legal Deposit Library since 1710, Cambridge University Library has been entitled to claim a copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland for more than 300 years. Today, the University Library collections encompass around nine million books, manuscripts and other physical items. So what happens when the University Library runs out of space to store them all?

Having recently designed and installed a similar storage solution, SSI Schaefer provided in-depth technical knowledge and design expertise to ensure the required state-of-the-art facility would not only house their important collection in a secure and controlled environment but also provide sufficient storage as it expands over the coming years.

The SSI Schaefer storage solution involved the construction of 24 aisles of high bay narrow aisle shelving with each aisle being 38 m long with shelving 11m high, providing an overall storage area at the facility of 87,000 m/2 which offers superb storage density.

Over 68,000 dividing shelves were fitted with storage trays located on the shelves 2 or 3 trays deep, providing over 100,000 locations. In addition SSI supplied 25 high density drawer cabinets providing 600 drawers to store large format maps and documents, located within the shelving at ground level.

Ady Powell, Facilities & Library Storage Facility Manager commented, “Our new storage facility from SSI Schaefer delivers on all fronts. Huge storage potential, perfect environmental conditions for our rare and unique books, all stored in streamlined, ergonomic shelving which has been designed with the team in mind. Data is available at the touch of a button with a comprehensive warehouse control system to ensure we can pinpoint the exact location of any item, at any time”

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