New collections facility to open in January 2025

Collections facility expected to open January 2025

Construction began in April 2023 on a new collections facility that will meet the long-term preservation needs for the University of Minnesota Libraries. The 60,000-square-foot building will be located on University property near the intersection of Como and 29th avenues in Minneapolis.

Construction is expected to be complete in August of 2024, with the building opening in January 2025.

The high-density facility will hold approximately 3.3 million volumes and will

  • enable preservation of unique, distinctive, and rare materials,
  • create the possibility to re-envision high-demand, on-campus spaces for students, researchers, and instructors, 
  • enable all special collections to be consolidated within the Andersen Library Caverns, and
  • allow for growth of print collections.

Watch the progress through the project's construction-site camera (photos taken every 12 minutes).

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Access and preservation safeguards

Users will see no changes in access following the relocation of materials. The collections will continue to be accessible via digital and physical delivery, and a reading room will provide on-site access to materials.

The facility also will offer the same industry-standard environmental, security, and fire-suppression safeguards currently provided in the Caverns beneath Elmer L. Andersen Library.

“Having a new facility is critical for us to ensure that we properly preserve the University’s most valued and unique assets, while having space to plan for the future,” said Lisa German, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries. She added that the facility will allow the University of Minnesota to continue to be one of the top academic libraries for lending and sharing books and other materials.

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Relocating collections to the new facility

We will begin relocating collections to the new facility in November 2024, which will focus on materials that are already housed in storage facilities on campus, including:

  • The Minnesota Library Access Center (MLAC), currently located in the caverns beneath Elmer L. Andersen Library. MLAC is a high-density facility that stores and makes available important but little used books for libraries across Minnesota. MLAC currently holds 1.5 million volumes. This move is critical in allowing the University Libraries to consolidate its rare and valuable special collections within the Andersen Library Caverns in close proximity to curators and users.
  • Health Sciences collections currently located in Diehl Hall

Completion will take about 17 months. During the move, there may be slight delays at certain times in accessing some materials. Requests for materials that are temporarily unavailable will be routed to and fulfilled quickly through our Interlibrary Loan service. 

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