Almost 50 special collections have moved from the Rose Library to the second floor  of the Methodist Center. Once the exclusive domain of the Methodist collections, it now houses most of the special collections of the University while providing growth space for the world-renowned Methodist material.

Cassie Brand and Dr. Chris Anderson inspect compact shelving in Methodist Center.
Cassie Brand, special assistant in the Library who managed the renovation project, confers with Chris Anderson, Head of Special Collections and Archives, in the new space.

The space has become a sealed microenvironment specially designed for valuable and fragile material that is best kept at ideal temperature and humidity levels. The security system has also been improved and a non-water fire suppression system added. The installation of  moveable compact shelving has doubled the shelving capacity.Where we used to have 1.75 miles of shelving, we now have almost 3.5 miles—about the length of a 5K run.

During the past ten months, staff and researchers working in the building have endured the deafening racket of 7,000 holes being drilled into the concrete floor above for the new shelving system. Now calm reigns and with it our gratitude to Norman Tomlinson of Miami, Florida, whose $1 million gift made this project possible. Students, faculty, and visiting scholars will find it easier to access the extensive special material since it now resides in one location. Improvements to the Methodist Center’s Wilson Reading Room are scheduled for January 2014.

– This article originally featured in Visions, The Library Newsletter.