TOBUNKEN Library Stack Room Reform Completed

Installing the electrically-operated bookshelf bases on the rails
Electrically-operated bookshelves being set

 The Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (TOBUNKEN) maintains materials, including books and photographs, collected by TOBUNKEN’s departments and centers (the Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the Center for Conservation Science, and the Japan Center for International Cooperation in Conservation) mainly in the TOBUNKEN Library. The library itself consists of the reading room and stack rooms; however, the aforementioned materials can be accessed by external researchers at the Library, which is open three days a week.

 Almost 23 years have passed since TOBUNKEN moved to its current building in 2000. During these years, TOBUNKEN has continuously been collecting materials, including books and photographs, through its research activities. Furthermore, it has recently had more opportunities to receive donations of archives from the collections of ex-employees and related researchers. Through these activities, the Library has been able to accumulate many more materials, and enhance the quality of those materials. At the same time, we foresaw that the bookshelves would be overflowing in the near future. Therefore, we reconstructed the bookshelves as part of the framework entitled “planned management of investigational research equipment.”

 During this reconstruction, the fixed bookshelves were replaced with electrically-operated bookshelves in almost one-fourth of the total floor space of the second-floor stack room. The reconstruction started on January 10th, 2023. After taking out the materials from the bookshelves, removing the fixed bookshelves, laying the rails for new bookshelves, setting the new electrically-operated bookshelves, and setting the materials back to the new shelves, the renovation was completed on the 30th. The space which was previously home to five fixed bookshelves (612 shelves, 526m in total) now accommodates nine new electrically-operated bookshelves (1,248 shelves, 1,073 in total), with capacity almost doubling.

 We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from the Library’s temporary closure during the reform. We continue to work to collect, pass down, and utilize materials valuable for research and conservation of cultural properties. We hope that the TOBUNKEN archives can well serve your research activities.

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