Over the summer the archive and library rooms were closed as major repair work and renovations took place. This work has now finished and we are pleased to be able to update you on the progress.
The archive and library rooms had not been decorated for more than thirty years. Walls were cracked and peeling, existing window treatments were completely ineffective at reducing heat in the rooms, and large central heating pipes running through the rooms added to the heat.
Ancient strip-lighting gave off not only a very harsh, flickering light but a great deal of heat. Even in the depths of winter, temperatures rarely dropped below 23 degrees, creating a completely unsuitable environment for storage of our special collections.
After a lot of clearing out and tidying up, the rooms were completely emptied and the renovations began. Walls and floors were closely inspected for any structural issues, and floor joists were repaired, strengthened or replaced where necessary. Walls have been smoothed over and repainted and new low-emission LED lights with a much softer light have been installed.
Anti-UV film has been fitted to all windows to refract solar glare, along with solar-reducing blinds at all windows. The pipes and radiators have been boxed-in and covered with industrial-grade lagging. As a result, the rooms now have an average temperature of 18 degrees which creates a much better environment for both the collections and those who work with them.
All books, documents, boxes, manuscripts, maps and other archive material have now been moved back into the rooms and on to the shelves. Our next major focus will be on re-cataloguing the collections and making them more accessible for researchers. We look forward to updating you on our progress over the next few months.
Please note, access to the archives and library is by appointment only, and at the discretion of the Congregation of Jesus.
If you would like to use our collections, please email our Special Collections Manager, Dr Hannah Thomas, at firstname.lastname@example.org