The purpose of the moves is to extend the life of the collection, which encompasses some 750 million pages of newspapers and periodicals, spanning more than three centuries, and includes local, regional and national newspapers from across the UK and Ireland and around the world.
The existing location at Colindale is far from ideal for storing fragile newsprint, with few environmental controls and outdated means of access to the collection. The new building at Boston Spa will offer full temperature and humidity control, maximising the life-span of newspapers, and will have low-oxygen conditions to eliminate the risk of fire.
The British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale closed on Friday 8 November 2013. High-use periodicals, microfilm collections, print newspapers and Newspaper Reading Room reference collections are now embargoed, prior to large scale moves.
Once the print newspapers have moved to Boston Spa, access to newspaper content will be via microfilm or digital copies made available in a new News and Media Reading Room at the Library’s main St Pancras site, which opens in March 2014. At this point periodical collections will also become available to order again.
Print newspaper titles will remain unavailable for longer, because of the scale of the moves and the complexity of the process of moving them into the new building. This material is expected to become available again in autumn 2014. At that point, people will be able to request them in the News and Media Reading Room at St Pancras and they will be delivered within 48 hours if no microfilm or digital copy exists, and if they are in good enough condition to travel.
Through the course of the moves, access to nearly 7 million pages of digitised newspapers will remain available via all of the Library’s reading rooms.
Details of the moves programme, including the latest issue of the Collection Moves Reader Bulletin are available online at: www.bl.uk/newspaper-moves
The British Library
is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs,
newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - www.bl.uk - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.