Western opens its ARC — Indiana Jones proud
By Marshall Bellamy
WONDER IF THEY HAVE ISSUES OF PLAYBOY FROM THE ’50S.
Stacks and stacks of books and stuff and things adorn the
Archives and Research Collections Centre at D.B. Weldon
Library — the archives opened yesterday.
The new Archives and Research Collections Centre at Western
officially opened yesterday morning, allowing students and
faculty access to a wide variety of old materials.
“The heart of a great university like Western is very
much in its libraries,” said Western President Paul Davenport,
noting Western’s archives offer a range a materials,
from Canadian Tire’s corporate archives to a 1668 edition
of John Milton’s Paradise Lost, purported to be a personal
copy of the author.
According to Robin Keirstead, the university’s archivist,
the completion of the archives will allow the other Western
libraries to move their low and medium-use materials to a central
location. “It was all scattered before — this is
it, this is the hub,” he said.
“We now have the environment to preserve the materials
in a way we couldn’t,” he explained, adding the
storage facility is a controlled environment in which temperature
and relative humidity can be controlled to protect the archives.
“We’ll have better access and better work space,” Keirstead
The storage facility has nine shelves — 100 feet long
and 30 feet high — for storing approximately 1.6 million
volumes or 80,000 cubic foot storage boxes.
Keirstead noted the archives will be able to store materials
for approximately 15 to 20 years until it is filled to capacity. “But
it’s just a very, very, very rough estimate.”
The entrance to the archives from the D.B. Weldon Library
contains the new John A. Schweitzer Gallery, which will feature
art by Schweitzer, various guest exhibitions and material from
A REALLY COOL PICTURE. The Archives and Research Collections
Centre in D.B. Weldon Library opened yesterday with much
“The gallery juxtaposes my work by linking text and
work,” Schweitzer said. “Western will become a
singular study centre of my oeuvre, all in this glorious facility.”
“The archives have been in the dreaming, planning and
building stages for many, many years,” said university
librarian Joyce Garnett, adding the archives will provide a
service for staff to efficiently serve the needs of students
She added the transfer of material from libraries across campus
to the archives has also helped free up space in the libraries
for other uses, such as the creation of 700 new student study
“It was a long road Joyce went down; this was in the
works off and on for a long time,” Davenport said.