Library of Birmingham April-May 2012 Update

Work continues to progress on the new Library of Birmingham as it nears completion externally and is fitted out internally.  The latest update from Carillion below, reproduced from,  shows work on the book rotunda and archives.

Reproduced from:

Meanwhile a date has been set for the grand opening, the 3 September 2013.

Carillion, who are the principal contractor for the project will hand over the building to the city council after which the extensive work of intalling and testing IT, staff training and moving books will begin.  Specialist move contractor Nexus will move the 1.5 million books and 24 kilometres of shelves of archive and heritage collections.

It is estimated that 1,100 crates of books – a total of 66,000 crates – will be brought into the new Library every day for three months. Placed end to end, the Library’s books would stretch from Birmingham to Edinburgh.

The new library will allow the library's collections to be displayed with over 6,000 archive collections, 2 millions photographic stills, and over 150,000 items of music.  The library holds over 8,000 rare books printed before 1700 including

Central Library houses the city’s internationally important 6,000 or more archive collections, two million photographic stills, more than 150,000 items of music, and rare books. Over 8,000 of the Library’s rare books were printed before 1700 and include a Shakespeare First Folio, Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’, one of the world’s largest books, and three perfect copies of Cordiale or the Four Last Thinges printed in 1479 by William Caxton.

The official opening will be marked by a festival of celebration and will tie in with the neighbouring REP which will also reopen follow it's own refurb under a new artistic director Roxana Silbert.
Library users are being asked to nominate the first book to be placed onto the Library of Birmingham’s shelves, a hugely symbolic celebration of the continued importance of the printed word in this library for the future.  Nominators should tweet to @libraryofbham (using the hashtag #LoB1stbook)

The refurb of the REP will see the foyer extended to link with the libary, and new places to eat and drink and a new lift to all floors of the main house together with backstage facilities including dressing rooms, rehersal rooms, set construction workshops and offices.
The Birmingham Reperttory Theatre Company will celebrate it's centenary in 2013 but will lead celebrations before the library opens with it's centenary in February with a special programme of events at the Old Rep Theatre in Station Street.

An update on the work to the REP from the Spring edition of the REPS's Change of Scenery Magazine,, compliments the pictures taken below showing the new glazing being installed following the installation of new frames.  Cleaning of the rest of the building is due to take place later in the year.  The Steel structure of the back of house block is complete with external cladding now starting.

Photos showing progress from the  28 March to 4 May are shown below

28 March

30 March

10 April

17 April

16 April

20 April

27 April

28 April

4 May


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