Aug. 26, 2019
If you’ve ever moved from one home to another, you know it can be a challenge. So just imagine what it took to move our Research Center and Library, which houses millions of historic books, documents, maps and other materials from Iowa’s past.
To make way for upcoming renovations here at the State Historical Building of Iowa, our staff worked from July 15 through Aug. 10 to relocate the Research Center and Library from its usual (and future) spot on the second floor to a temporary location on the first floor to safeguard it during the construction project.
We started with the big items from the Research Center: the reference desk, public computers, microfilm readers, copier, printers, newspaper microfilm and other reference materials.
Then we moved the library collection to various temporary storage locations throughout the building. That involved 6,500 linear feet of library materials – or about one and a quarter miles – plus 13 rows of metal shelving, 90 microfilm cabinets, 24 file cabinets, six map cases, four card catalog cabinets and the current collection of newspapers from across the state.
We hired T&M Services to move some of the shelving, cabinets and equipment, while more than two dozen trained staff and volunteers handled the materials with care and organizational precision. We loaded and unloaded book carts, packed and labeled more than 1,400 boxes and tended to all sorts of miscellaneous tasks.
And throughout the whole process, all materials remained available to patrons by request.