Research Library Relocates

Article Detail

Thursday 7 February 2008
Caroline McBride

We’d known we were to relocate the E.H. McCormick Research Library to a nearby Council office block for over two years but suddenly with the announcement of the settlement of the building appeals process, the move was upon us.

Catherine Hammond, Research Librarian, and I prepared a detailed list of what needed to be done and we got started straight away.

The book collection numbers approximately 30,000 volumes and we calculated that approximately a thousand of these would not be able to come with us to our ‘new’ library but would need to be moved to off-site storage due to space considerations. Having selected a book, its barcode was scanned to update the catalogue of its new location and then it was packed and stored in an area adjacent to the Library.


As this task was ticking over we made decisions about other aspects of the collection as well as furniture and fittings (the fetching bright orange 1970s carpet may be auctioned off in one metre squares – it’s so sought after!). Pre-2003 journals, auction catalogues, older audio-visual material, a large number of vertical files, some archives and special collection material would all need to be listed and then, similarly, put into storage. This and the collection we were to take with us had to be boxed, labelled, relocated, unpacked and re-shelved and all in perfect order, please.

A wonderful commercial relocation team of approximately eight fit young men and women were employed to do the bulk of the move. This took place over 2-3 days during which time we kept one-step ahead with the documentation that was needed. Approximately 900 boxes were used.


During the pack-up, we found all sorts of intriguing items including a newspaper from 1974 that had an article on how Mick Jagger was still touring at the ripe old age of 31!

As the books were unpacked, there was a nasty moment when it appeared we had run out of space for the photography books. The quick-thinking Catherine instantly created a new out-size collection elsewhere and the problem was solved.

While we miss the old view (yes I am the small one on the left):


we hope you agree that our new streamlined library is looking good and ready to receive art researchers who find the extra little walk to the 9th floor of the Bledisloe Building worthwhile.