McCain Library and Archives Renovations and Repairs Completed

News item published on: 2020-09-28 10:41:00

Renovations to the interior of McCain Library and Archives, home of University Libraries’ Special Collections, were recently completed, ensuring the integrity and safety of the Libraries’ collections for future research.

Included in this project is a cool storage room with a separate air handler and additional insulation. This area will be used to safely house the archive’s negatives. Much-needed compact shelving has also been installed to accommodate growth of Special Collections’ holdings. Special Collections also received an upgraded preservation space with the addition of running water and increased workspace. In the future, a dehumidifying chamber and freezer, to inactivate potential mold growth in incoming material, will be added to advance preservation work in the collections.

Repairs to the exterior of McCain Library and Archives have also been completed. In addition to the replacement of water vapor barriers and improved French and patio drains that will aid in temperature control, the building received a fresh coat of paint, new railings, lighting, and brick pavers. Lorraine Stuart, Head of Special Collections, remarked “The changes will support enhanced preservation practices and allow collections to be returned from offsite storage as well as provide some growth space. The change in appearance to the building is remarkable. Visually, it is now much more representative of the importance of the collections it houses. Under President Bennett, you can see a vision for an attractive and stately campus coming to fruition. I am so pleased that the McCain building is furthering that mission.”

Discussions about the renovations and repairs to the McCain Library and Archives began in 2017, with work officially beginning in June of 2018. Due to COVID-19, the project experienced delays but work resumed in the spring of 2020, coming to a conclusion in September. “A side benefit,” Stuart added, “has been the opportunity to work with the University’s Physical Plant. From the hiring of the forensics team to shepherding the project through the COVID shut down, they have exhibited a reassuring level of expertise. I always felt confident in their ability to do an outstanding job, and they have.”

Photo is of the front of a building that is white concrete on the top portion and a covered walk around on the first level. Leading up to the first floor is a ramp that goes along in front of the building with concrete and iron railings. Photo is a the front of a building with white concrete on the top and red brick on the lower portion. In front of the building is a ramp that leads to the front door with concrete and black iron railings.

Photo shows black shelving on the left side of the photo and white walls on the right. A beige safe is against the ride side wall.