By Lois Hendrickson
Our Wangensteeen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine is the pre-eminent library for historical medical research in the Midwest, with over 70,000 volumes of rare books, journals and manuscripts in diverse medical and biological subject areas that span half a millennium, from 1430 to 1930.
Preparing to move a historical collection is complex and requires input and help from many library staff. It also requires close attention to small details.
When red flags are helpful
The red flags in the photo mark items that are safely ensconced on shelves, but hang over the shelf edge a bit. Since we cannot shrink the books to make them fit in our new compact shelving, we are reviewing each volume to identify the overhanging items, measure their width, and move them to the appropriate sized shelving.
One of many ‘behind-the-stacks’ tasks
After the books are sized up, we will shift our collection to accommodate the moved books, and we will update our catalog records so we can locate moved items.
With the completion of our sizing inventory, all of our rare materials to fit into the exacting standards required for compact shelving.
It is just one of the many ‘behind-the-stacks’ tasks we are completing to get ready for our move into the new Health Sciences Education Center in 2020.