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Long term future for the Science Museum Library at Imperial College London agreed

External Sites:
-Library Future
-Science Museum
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For immediate use
Friday 16 December 2005

The Science Museum and Imperial College London are pleased to announce a long term solution for the continued future of the Science Museum Library, which ensures enduring public access to the library's most important collection at Imperial's Central Library building.

This agreement will ensure that the College and the Museum, which have worked closely for nearly a century, will continue to work together to develop the library to meet the needs of the twenty first century, with enhanced facilities and increased provision of study space.

Under the agreement:

  • The Science Museum Library's important and frequently used Science and Technology Studies collection (STS) will remain within the Central Library at Imperial Colleges campus in South Kensington.
  • Imperial College plans to redevelop a large part of the existing library building to provide modern, upgraded student study facilities with improved access to digital library materials.
  • The less frequently used parts of the Science Museum Library's collections, including some periodicals held jointly with Imperial's Central Library, will move to a newly created library repository at the Science Museum's site in Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire.
  • All printed materials stored in Wroughton will be made available to users in the Central Library within one working day using a modern document delivery system.
  • There will also be a separate consultation room within the Science Museum where researchers can consult specialist Science Museum archives and library material.
  • All three locations will be electronically connected to ensure efficient management of document requests and cataloguing.
The proposed agreement will ensure enhanced library facilities for Imperial students

Following engagement with stakeholders, including existing library users and professional bodies, on the proposed way forward, the project teams at both the Science Museum and Imperial recommend that implementation of the proposal begins in January 2006. It is likely to take around two years to complete. This process will include extensive refurbishment of the existing library at Imperial, increasing study space for students and capitalising on the latest digital and wireless technology to provide a dynamic research and learning environment. Parts of the Science Museums Wroughton site will also be refurbished to meet its new role, as will areas of the Science Museum building to provide consultation facilities.

The agreement is supported by the Chairmen of both institutions and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Science Museums major funding body. Both partners believe it will bring significant benefits by putting their relationship on a strong footing for the long term and ensuring a sustainable future for the collection.

For more information contact:

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Stephen Bromberg
Science Museum Press Office
Tel: 020 7942 4352

Notes to editors:

The Science Museum welcomes feedback on the implementation of this proposal from Library users and other interested parties. Anyone wishing to contribute their views should go to to submit feedback. This site also includes information on the status of the library, detailed information on the proposal and a comprehensive FAQs section.

Alternatively they can contact Scott Mackenzie-Cook, NMSI, Wellcome Wolfson Building, 165 Queens Gate, London, SW7 5HD. T: 020 7942 4000.

About the Science Museum

The Science Museum is home to more than 15,000 objects and provides a fascinating insight into the worlds of science, technology, medicine and industry. Hands on galleries, drama characters, science shows and tours bring to life the past, present and future of human scientific ingenuity. See and interact with major scientific advances from the last 300 years, from original working steam engines to the actual Apollo 10 command module, all spread over seven floors in a building ¼ mile long.

The Dana Centre, the Science Museums annex dedicated to discussing contemporary and controversial science, brings live debates, science art installations, experiments and stand-up comedy to everybody over 18 who wants a thought-provoking night out.

The museum was established with the profits from The Great Exhibition of 1851 and is now one of the top visitor attractions in the UK.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.