The uplift, transportation and storage of over 1 million assets over a 3 year period 

DeepStore, one of the UK’s fastest-growing records management companies, has been appointed as Manchester Central Library’s records management partner. 

As the library embarks on a 3-year renovation and refurbishment programme, more than one million items will be moved from Central Library, of which the most rare and precious will be stored by DeepStore. In total, over 22 miles of shelving will be catalogued, packed, expertly handled and transported for secure storage. 

The library awarded DeepStore the contract on the basis of the site’s natural security and high protection, its proximity to Central Library and the flexibility DeepStore is naturally able to offer. Unlike other records management companies, the DeepStore facility allows clients to specify and create space and configure racking to accommodate assets of all dimensions – rather than requiring them to conform to pre-racked warehouses. 

Security and protection were at the forefront of the Central Library’s decision-making process; amongst the assets are around 44,000 volumes published before 1850 and 30 works dating back to the 15th Century. DeepStore’s facility, 150 metres underground within a Cheshire-based salt mine, offers consistent temperature and humidity levels and is naturally free from the danger of ultraviolet light, vermin or flooding. 

“With so many rare and precious books of significant historical importance being temporarily removed from Central Library, it is vital that they are stored securely and in the best conditions,” said Neil MacInnes, head of library and information services at Manchester City Council. “ The salt mine is an absolutely invaluable resource for this. The team at DeepStore are extremely experienced and we have the peace of mind that the collections will be kept safely until they can be returned to the library once it reopens in 2013”. 

Stephen Holmes, DeepStore managing director, said the company are delighted to be working with Manchester Central Library. “We are privileged to be handling and storing such important assets on their behalf. The uplift is now under way and we are on track to have all assets securely stored underground within an 8-week period”, he said. 

The uplift is due to be completed by 30th June 2010. The contract is likely to be in place for 3 years, until the Central Library’s refurbishment is complete, after which all archives will be returned to the Library.