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Relocation of Manuscripts Technical Unit and Rare Book Cataloging

Section relating to Special Collections Technical Services at SUL's Redwood City location.

Changes are on the horizon for Special Collections’ Technical Services Divisions - specifically the Rare Book Cataloging and Manuscripts Units. A few recent posts have referred to our imminent move to SUL’s Redwood City (RWC) location, so here finally is some information about this event. The Rare Book Cataloging Unit is the first to move and is being relocated over the Labor Day weekend; the Manuscripts Technical Services Unit will move there around the end of October.

This will affect all grant funded-processing projects as well as regular staff in both units. The Manuscripts Unit is responsible for the accessioning, cataloging, and processing of manuscripts material including born-digital collections. As part of the renovation of the RWC space, a new Forensic Lab is being installed at the RWC location. This will be a major relocation effort requiring collaboration from across the library but especially between the departments of Special Collections and Facilities to ensure a smooth transition. During September the Rare Book Cataloging Unit will be unpacking and adjusting to their new space and workflows while the Manuscripts Unit will be heavily involved in preparing staff and collections for their move.

In preparation, we have been working closely with other SUL departments in drafting changes to protocols regarding transport of special collections materials and changes to procedures and workflows between the departments remaining on campus and those housed at RWC.

While it will be challenging to deal with the distance from our public services staff and the subject curators, there are indeed benefits to this relocation. The primarily benefit is that the technical services staff in Special Collections will finally have much larger work and storage space (about 3,000 feet of shelving for collections). We will also be housed together in the same space which will be a novelty for us. In past years, our technical team has been housed not only in separate buildings but in various locations within Green Library.

Additionally, two of the departments that we work with closely will now be our neighbors – the Stanford Media Preservation Lab (see previous blog post) and the Preservation & Conservation Department. This will allow us to collaborate on digitization and treatment projects much more easily.