The Science Museum Library and Archives, home to original editions from scientific icons such as Einstein, Galileo, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, was launched on Friday 7 December at its new home in Swindon.
The prestigious 120 year old library, which contains 26 kilometres of shelving, has been housed for the past 38 years at Imperial College London and is re-opening having made the move to Wiltshire in order to improve efficiency by relocating to the Science Museum’s breathtaking site.
The new facility at the Science Museum Swindon, which will open to the general public early next year, consists of a publicly accessible library building and a storage element for the archives also on the Museum’s site. With over 100,000 books dating back to 1486, over a million patents and documents including the final Apollo 11 flight plan, signed by Aldrin and Armstrong, the collections provide an outstanding resource for academics, students, enthusiasts and the general public.
Rupert Williams, Head of the Science Museum Library, said “The Science Museum Library has an international reputation in the history and the public understanding of science and technology and we are delighted to have completed the move to the Science Museum Swindon.” He added, “We have a superb new facility which will allow the Science Museum Library to run in an effective and sustainable manner while providing the public with access to our world class collections.”
While the move which began last September will see the bulk of the Science Museum Library and Archives move to Swindon the library will retain a London presence with the Science and Technology Studies Collection staying in South Kensington, around 15% of the collection. The Museum will offer a service whereby if requested it can move many of its works within the collection between venues in one working day.
The library should be open to the public at the end of January.