McMaster University Library acquired the archives and the personal library of Nobel Laureate, Bertrand Russell, who was a famed British Philosopher, social and peace activist. Custom Storage space was created to archive the collection, which is now one of the most heavily used research collection by scholars from all over the globe. 

A State of the art facility was designed to house the Archives of Bertrand Russell:

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the acquisition of the Bertrand Russell Archives by McMaster University, they worked along with the local architects and storage experts at Spacesaver Solutions Inc. so that they could design a state of the art storage facility to archive the collection. Located at the Sterling Street Entrance of the University, this facility was previously a private residence which was renovated to convert it into the storage facility within nine short months.

Spacesaver Solutions Inc. took up the responsibility of making sure that the archives were properly stored and protected while the process of renovation was on. 


What kind of system has been used to protect and display the archives?

Our storage experts here at Spacesaver Solutions Inc. worked along with McMaster’s librarians, to design a state of the art storage solution which would safely archive Bertrand Russell’s large and diverse collection. Along with that, it was to also house a significant collection of books and other published articles and materials across three separate areas. A mechanical assistance high-density system with Wood-Tek 4-post Shelving and day-use lockers were designed by us.

A garage was converted into a secure, climate-controlled room by the University. In this room, we installed a mechanical assist high-density system with recessed rails. It helped in maximizing the storage space in the room along with making sure that the archives were properly stored and preserved.

Wood-Tek 4-Post shelving was installed in the reading room and the display areas to aesthetically house most of the books of the collection. Wood Tek 4 post shelving which is a distinctive combination of wood and steel was used, along with, a mood front for a vintage look and a non-gassing metal frame to protect the collection. It is a perfectly adaptable system and adjusts to the changing needs of the Library, as the collection continues to grow.

The security of the collection is of the utmost importance. The safety requirements by the University included a place for researchers to store their personal belongings when they are in the Archives. To meet these needs, we specially designed a metal-bodied locker system which has pressure laminate doors and Digilock Axis Locks. These locks are programmable for each person and can be reset for the next researcher, once they are finished.

Librarians and staff were exhilarated by the new space and the state of the art system which we build to protect and display the collection.