By the numbers
Research Collections and Preservation Consortium
Princeton NJ — Six years ago, the Princeton University Library opened the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium, a high-density shelving facility for low-use library materials, located on the Forrestal Campus. Jointly owned and operated with Columbia University and the New York Public Library, the building has more than 6.5 million items on its shelves with 85,000 square feet of storage capacity. In March, the facility opened its fifth module, increasing its capacity to more than 10 million items.
• The facility, known as ReCAP, has 244 miles of shelving and seven forklifts that are used to retrieve items at heights of up to 30 feet. In addition to bound volumes, the facility has archival materials, microfilm, audio and videotapes, maps, posters, photographs and other media items.
• When a request is received for an item stored at the facility, it is retrieved and delivered by University staff members to patrons at Princeton and by courier to New York City for those using the other libraries. Articles and book chapters can be scanned and electronically delivered. So far more than 415,000 items have been lent out, and more than 17,000 were electronically delivered.
• The facility is designed so that additional shelving modules can be added as needed. The site will allow for the eventual construction of 218,820 square feet of storage space, which will have room for 37.5 million items.