The Admiralty Library collection, built up over the last 200 years, contains at least 160,000 volumes and is possibly the finest collection of naval books in the UK. The Historical Branch’s archive dates back to the point as which the Historical Section was first founded by Winston Churchill in 1914. It is the official repository for the Royal Navy’s Corporate Memory (including Royal Marine and RFA papers) and consists of around 120,000 records.
The Naval Historical Branch provides historical perspectives on current issues for the Naval Staff, Ministry of Defence and Central Government, but also responds to a wide variety of questions on naval and maritime history for the general public. When the Library moved from London to its present location in Portsmouth, the Navy required archive quality shelving to house the collection, as its existing shelving was no longer fit for purpose.
The storage proposal by Bruynzeel was selected by the Naval Historical Branch as the best and most suitable solution presented to the Admiralty. The client’s preference was for static library shelving with perforated sidewalls to provide maximum airflow. Bruynzeel’s proposal to install an aluminium, emission-free floor and rails into the BS 5454-compliant repository was also adopted as the most cost-effective method to provide for future expansion and preservation of the library. The static Sysco shelving currently installed can easily be transferred and mounted on Bruynzeel Compactus mobile bases, thereby increasing storage capacity by another 1,000 linear metres, should the additional space be required.