The Royal College of Music, one of the world’s great conservatoires, has chosen DeepStore to house its library’s Special Collection. 

The three-year contract was awarded to DeepStore, the UK’s largest underground storage company, after a procurement tender exercise. The Special Collection includes composer and performer archives, and around 750,000 programmes from the 19th through the 21st centuries that are frequently recalled by users of the library. 

The Royal College of Music began working with DeepStore in 2016 and following the completion of the initial intake of material, embarked on a tender process for a low-risk storage and retrieval system for its Special Collection – the key requirements being a high-level of security, and a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. 

Peter Linnitt, chief librarian, Royal College of Music, said: “DeepStore has always offered a quick, responsive and streamlined service. This allows us to bring archives and programmes back to our London base for researchers from around the world. The facilities keep our archive collections in unique conditions, which are wonderful for the preservation of the material while requiring minimal external input. This mirrors our accolade of being the greenest conservatoire in the UK according to the 2018 People and Planet University League.” 

Craig Trimby, DeepStore’s head of sales, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed by the Royal College of Music. DeepStore provides the perfect location for storing their documents, manuscripts and archives and we look forward to working in partnership with their Special Collection team.” 

The highly secure storage facilities,150 metres below the surface in Britain’s largest salt mine, are not only naturally free from UV light, flooding and vermin but also offer consistent temperature and humidity levels and comply with PD 5454 requirements. 

DeepStore offers same day and next day delivery services as well as scan-on-demand so the Royal College of Music’s documents and archives can be easily retrieved.

The unique underground storage facility (an area 700 times the size of Wembley football pitch) was created from the space left following the extraction of millions of tonnes of rock salt. The mine, which is owned and operated by DeepStore’s parent company, Compass Minerals®, has the capacity to extract 1.5 million tonnes annually. 

Based in South Kensington, London, the Royal College of Music trains gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors and composers. It is amongst over 1,000 private and public sector DeepStore clients, including The National Archives, Costain, MOLA, the Royal Society, SOAS and Wellcome Trust.