A brand new Main Library, built at a cost of £60 million and described as heralding a new generation of libraries in UK higher education, has opened at the University of Birmingham

The milestone building will give users a ‘transformational experience’, providing state-of-the-art facilities for students, staff and researchers, as well as a cultural hub for the University and the city, and with some facilities being open to the public.

Incredible resources

With 62 kilometres of shelving, including 12km of open access bookshelves, the library will provide a new home for the thousands of books and publications owned by the University.

Director of Library Services Diane Job comments: ‘The opening of the library is the culmination of a huge amount of hard work to make sure our incredible resources are organised in ways which allow our students and staff to enjoy new ways of working and access the considerable materials we hold in the most straightforward way.’

Special exhibition

The opening is being marked with a special exhibition, open to the public, showcasing works from the University’s collections which have pushed the boundaries of Western knowledge over the last 500 years. Inspiring Knowledge: works of innovation and imagination that have shaped our world, will be staged in the new Library Lounge. The three show-pieces are The Nuremberg Chronicle (1493), Vesalius’s On the Fabric of the Human Body (1543) and Chaucer’s Works (1561).

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