Liverpool Central Library: Creating the new archive centre

The new archive repository is one of the largest outside London and required careful long-term planning by the chosen consultants Bruynzeel.

Photo: Mark McNulty

Making the right choices

Liverpool Central Library was reopened to the public on 17th May 2013 after a three-year refurbishment project costing £50 million. The project was the largest stand alone library development undertaken in the UK in 2012. Over 15,000 linear metres of shelving were installed to hold approximately 355,000 books, while a new repository was created to store the library’s current collection of over 3.2 million individual items as well as providing space for twenty years' future growth.

Although building work began on the library in November 2010 and was completed in January 2013, consultants from Bruynzeel Storage Systems played a key role in the planning and specification of the repository alongside the project’s architects, as part of the PFI procurement process some two years earlier.

David Stoker, interim service manager, Central Library and Archives at Liverpool City Council Central Library, explained why choosing the right storage solutions provider was so important: “We needed a partner that understood all the different formats we had to accommodate, from film and printed materials to football trophies and shirts, allowing for both metric and imperial archive boxes. They also had to have the experience to be able to accurately measure and quantify not only our current but also our future needs. We were impressed not only at how Bruynzeel effectively assessed both linear and cubic capacity, but also how they specified the best way to store our archives, for both access and conservation.”

Case study download