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Dear NACBS colleagues,

I am writing to you about the redevelopment of the Institute of Historical Research, which is scheduled to begin later this year.

As was announced before Christmas, the IHR will be moving this summer into a temporary location for two years, as the University continues with the refurbishment of Senate House. We will be rehoused in the 3rd floor of the South Block and in the Mezzanine. IHR staff have now been allocated new offices and we hope to finalise soon the relocation of the Common Room facilities as well.

We have now agreed with the Senate House Library which sections of the IHR Library will remain on open access during the temporary relocation, and full details of the new arrangements are now available on the IHR website: on the news page and on the Library pages. I have also attached this information to this email for your convenience.

I can also announce that the University has confirmed that it will be able to rehouse all of the IHR Events programme, that is our seminars, colloquia, conferences and Friends’ Events programme. It has also been agreed that external scholarly organisations which use IHR rooms and facilities will be charged the same rates during 2011-13 as they would in our usual premises. During 2011-13 our seminars and other events will run in the Ground Floor rooms of the South Block of Senate House, and on the Second Floor of Stewart House (also part of the Senate House complex).

The University will give final approval to these moves in the Spring, and we will continue to keep our members, users and visitors as fully informed as possible. Later in the year I will also be able to announce in more detail the planned modernisation of our current premises into which we shall move back in 2013. In the meantime, if you have any queries or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you at the NACBS in Denver next November, when we will be inviting you to join our IHR 90th birthday celebrations. Whilst we face a huge logistical challenge in making this temporary move, we are all delighted and excited by the prospect of creating an IHR fit for the 21st century. I hope very much that you will join us in bringing that project to life.

With best wishes,

Miles Taylor

Professor Miles Taylor
Institute of Historical Research
University of London
Senate House
Malet Street
t: +44 (0)20 7862 8759
f: +44 (0)20 7862 8811
e: [email protected]


Library arrangements during temporary relocation of the IHR

The IHR has now agreed with the University which sections of the Library collection should take priority for open access during the next phase of the refurbishment of Senate House.  As indicated in the Director’s statement in December, during the two year period of relocation to the 3rd floor of the South Block only one-third of the IHR Library will remain on open access.  The bulk of the remainder of the collection will be housed in the Senate House Library Tower and available through a dedicated fetch service.

In order to ensure the most effective use is made of the space available, a survey of collection usage has been running throughout this academic year.  The usage level of each collection has been the main criteria for retention on open access, amongst other considerations such as usage patterns, growth rate, the needs of Institute staff and students, ease of requesting and fetching, type of shelving available, the size of the individual books within the collections, online availability (mainly in the case of periodicals), and availability elsewhere in other local libraries. The outcomes have been discussed and approved by both the IHR Library Committee and the IHR Advisory Council.

The following collections are to remain on open access, with the exclusion of folio material and periodicals:

British History to c.1603 B.1-B.6 Excluding bibliography
British History from c.1603 B.7-B.8 Excluding Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates
Quick reference collection Q. Ref
British Local History BC.51**, BC.95**,


English Counties and Poll Books only
Irish History BI.010-883 Excluding Dublin Gazette
London History BL.002-872
Scottish History BS.01-71 Main sequence only, excluding  local history
General Historiography E.10-149
French History EF
French Provincial History EFP
Italian History EI Excluding Italian Parliamentary Papers
Ecclesiastical History ER.01-89 Excluding Patrologia Latina
History of the Crusades EU
Current issues of all periodicals
Microfilm/fiche collections

Ordering and consultation arrangements for materials in the closed stacks

It has been agreed that the IHR library staff will administer a dedicated hourly fetch service from the 3rd floor temporary location.  Library staff will aim to ensure the service is as responsive to demand as possible, and requests for material can be made in person, or via telephone, email, or the website, where there will be a request form.  Please note that due to staffing restrictions it will not always be possible for material to be fetched outside the core hours of 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.  The Library would strongly encourage those wishing to request closed access material to contact the Library in advance of their visit wherever possible, so we can ensure material is waiting on arrival.  In addition, material can be kept out for readers who wish to consult closed access items over a longer period.  As is the case currently, library staff will work in an accessible enquiry office throughout library opening hours, ensuring continuity of service to readers.

Reader facilities
The current IHR photocopiers and microform reader/printer will be available in the temporary location, in addition to reader desks, catalogues terminals and PCs.

Opening hours
The IHR Library will maintain its current opening hours in the temporary location.  However, please be aware that there will definitely be a period of closure in August to enable the move to take place.  The moving schedule is yet to be agreed but closure dates will be publicised as soon as they are known.

If you have any queries about these proposed changes, please contact the IHR Librarian Jennifer Higham on [email protected]

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