Storage Solutions | Bowen Group / Blog / Storing Priceless Articles - University of Melbourne

Storing Priceless Articles - University of Melbourne

Storage Solutions | Bowen Group / Blog / Storing Priceless Articles - University of Melbourne
August 2015

For centuries, libraries have been the hallmarks of major cities.  Not only are they a repository for historical archives, information and knowledge, these cultural institutions inspire and celebrate human achievement.

In fact, libraries are some of the most spectacular and memorable buildings in the world. The Vatican library (established 1475), is one of the oldest libraries, holding the oldest complete manuscript of the Bible as well as over one million other books.  The original Library of Alexandria  was one of the Seven Wonders of the World; now a modern version is located in Alexandria, Egypt. The medieval reading room at Oxford University’s Bodleian library attracted kings and Nobel Prize winners to study beneath the intricate wood-panelled ceiling.

A little closer to home, we have our much loved University of Melbourne - Australia’s second oldest University, founded in 1853. The University of Melbourne’s libraries attract over 3 million visitors every year as academics and students immerse in the vast array of information rich resources. Over 42 million borrowings are made each year and accurate documentation and storage of articles is essential for the library to serve one of the world’s leading research universities.  

Articles in the University of Melbourne’s collection are of significant cultural and financial value. So the question begs to be asked. What is the ideal storage and retrieval system to preserve the University of Melbourne’s collection of priceless articles and books?  A key consideration is the galvanisation process of steel shelving where lead is often used for surface finishes such as powder coating. Lead is a harmful chemical which can cause the degradation of printed material.

When the University of Melbourne embarked upon an extensive refurbishment of the library, a critical requirement of the project was the supply and install of a sustainable, efficient and effective storage system to house the library’s priceless collection of books and articles.

With over 30 years’ industry experience, Bowen Storage was appointed to work with the project architect and builder. Super 123, a high density, space efficient, intelligent storage system was installed to accommodate over 300,000 articles. Importantly, the selected shelving system was galvanised using zinc, one of the few metals that are not harmful for books and articles. Recognising the variety of articles collected by the library, the modular shelving system is easily adjusted to accommodate various sized articles and boasts 1,300 bays of shelving in a footprint of only 1,400 square metres.

Today, the University of Melbourne’s library can continue to be enjoyed and celebrated!

To learn more about Super 123 by Bowen Storage, click here. To discuss how Bowen Storage can partner with you in reaching a custom storage solution for your organisation call 1300 780 654 or enquire here.