Released October 25, 2011
Why are you renovating the library?
The Phillips Library is entering its third century of existence, and it is time to bring the building up to contemporary standards for collections storage and access. This is a commitment to the best possible stewardship of our unique collection, and to the historic buildings in which the collection is housed. Our goal is to ensure that books and manuscripts will be preserved in the best possible condition long into the future. We are also taking the opportunity to comprehensively inventory and re-organize objects, enhancing their accessibility and freeing up space for growth.
When will the project start? When will the library be closed?
The project has already begun. The library closed in November, 2011, to allow our staff to inventory, organize, and relocate the collection to its temporary location. We anticipate opening the library to researchers on a limited basis at the temporary location in the first half of 2013, and will announce a specific date as soon as possible
When will the work be complete?
We're unable to announce a specific date at this time.
What is the scope of the renovation? How will the library be different in the future?
This is a multi-year modernization effort that will physically and electronically improve access to the collection. When the project is complete, our library will be housed in a much better facility with greatly enhanced environmental controls and online catalog access. Upon re-opening, we anticipate increased public access to the library and greater ease and breadth of research for our library patrons. Most significantly, Philcat, the library's online catalog, will encompass entries for all books and manuscripts in the library's collection.
Will the library be completely closed while work is in progress? Will the library be open to scholars?
Once the temporary library facility is set up, researchers will be able to access the library's resources, albeit on a limited basis.
Will it be possible to call in with research questions to be answered by librarians while the library is closed?
Until the opening of the temporary library facility, the librarians will not have access to the collections and will be unable to answer research inquiries. When the temporary facilities open, the librarians will have some access to collections and will assist with questions to the extent possible. If unable to help, we will endeavor to direct you to another resource.
Will you be able to continue accepting donations?
We would be grateful to review and accept donations much as we have in the past. Please contact Barbara Kampas at 978-745-9500 or email@example.com.
Who will be designing/conducting the actual renovation?
We are delighted that Schwartz/Silver Architects, a highly regarded Boston firm specializing in the renovation and expansion of libraries, museums, universities, civic buildings and historic structures, will undertake the Phillips Library project. The Boston Athenaeum, the Hyde Park Branch Library, and the Rotch Library at MIT are among Schwartz/Silver's past library projects.
Will the historic qualities of the buildings in question be preserved?
Absolutely. We appreciate the historic value and beauty of these buildings and are seeking to bring the facilities up to standard for contemporary usage while retaining, as much as possible, the architectural detail and charm of the original structures.