Marquand Open in Firestone

Marquand Library has temporarily moved to two spaces on the C-Floor of Firestone Library as of March 22, 2021. Down the hall from the entrance to Special Collections, Library users will find two bright and airy reading rooms: the Scribner and West Atriums.

Marquand’s collection, formerly housed in McCormick Hall, is now located off-site in a temporary storage facility and remains non-circulating. Consultation of items is only available in these two rooms. Food and drink may be left in designated bins, and a drink with a closed container may be consumed in Firestone proper, outside of Marquand’s enclosed spaces. On-demand scanning services will continue for all eligible users in both spaces. 

All collection items are requested for viewing (or document delivery/scanning) via the library catalog, with notifications via email when items are available for consultation in Firestone. Off-site items stored in ReCAP can be requested, as in the past, for viewing or document delivery. Library patrons may request chapters or article scans via Article Express, or full scans via the Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) service. Marquand has also pursued eBook purchases, at a greater scale to allow for expanded remote access.

The Scribner Atrium Reading room houses physical items for course reserves, and is the site for pick-up and consultation of items requested from off-site, including Library-Use-Only viewing of Columbia (Avery Library), New York Public Library, and Harvard ReCAP holdings. The West Atrium Reading room offers individual study shelves for those patrons making heavy use of Marquand’s collection on a regular basis. See our website for more information about the spaces and how each may be utilized. 

Marquand rare items are available for consultation in the Firestone Special Collections Reading Room; Oversize volumes (folios and elephant folios) in the General Collection will also be requested and serviced there. For teaching with Marquand rare collections, please reach out to us via email with your individual lists with at least 2-weeks advance notice for classroom reservations on the A-Floor of Firestone (seats 12 comfortably) or appropriate classrooms in Firestone Special Collections.  

Beginning January 2020 through March 2021, staff from Marquand, Preservation & Conservation, Access Services, and other temporary staff began the work of reviewing the nearly 250,000 titles in our on-site collections for transfer to off-site storage. During the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous staff remained on-site to do this important work. PUL’s Preservation and Conservation Department underwent a review and thorough cleaning of all books onsite and assessed for repairs or transfer to rare collections based on condition. Marquand Librarians, with the help of support staff, reviewed all stacks collections for potential transfer to off-site ReCAP storage as we are now at full capacity and will continue to grow. Our collections must fit in our newly renovated space upon our return to McCormick Hall in 3-4 years.  

In order for stacks collections to be stored off-site and efficiently delivered to our temporary reading rooms in Firestone, each individual volume required an inventory process and physical barcoding. Nearly a third of our historic collections were found to be either lacking barcodes or requiring updated barcode labels. This work took nearly 8 months with the help of Access Services staff and trained temporary staff. The collections move to off-site storage for our stacks took a team of professional movers seven weeks. 

Special collections holdings in our on-site Marquand vault (small octavo & quarto-sized) are temporarily being stored in Firestone Special Collections vaults. Professional movers took two weeks to transport these delicate items to Firestone vault storage with appropriate security and climate control.  

Over 4,000 of our folio and elephant oversized volumes (rare and browse-able) are being stored off-site on specially built shelving, also with proper security and climate control, to accommodate the weight and large formats of these volumes. Most date from the 16th-19th centuries. These large volumes will be available for viewing by patrons in the Firestone Special Collections reading rooms and available for use in teaching.  

Our transition to our new and temporary public services spaces, workspaces, and a delivery and processing center at 693 Alexander Road has been challenging. Nearly all of our 10 Marquand staff members have worked on-site during the pandemic 3 days per week or more to ensure prompt virtual service and limited onsite service due to the pandemic. We are grateful to Library leadership for supporting the addition of three temporary staff to help keep our delivery and scanning operation, now located off-site, as well as public services in Firestone to run smoothly and allow us to offer evening hours in the Fall. We are also deeply grateful to the staff and curators in Firestone Special Collections for helping us store our vault materials and host more than 40 classes per semester that utilize our rare collections in teaching.  

Marquand now offers a completely transformed service model with significant changes in workflows for staff and access for patrons. We are confident as the semester moves forward that our services will continue to improve with the help of user feedback and ongoing experimentation. We appreciate all of your patience and support as we endeavor to provide the best access possible to our treasured and diverse collections.  


      Atrium               Scribner