Specialist commercial removals firm, Andrew Porter Limited, will be handling some of the world's rarest and most valuable books and archives when it moves the collection of Liverpool Central Library & Archive back to its newly-refurbished premises later this year. The complex move will take several months and the library will re-open in spring 2013.
The firm has been appointed by Liverpool City Council to provide specialist relocation services for the vast collection, which is being held at five storage sites during the £50m upgrade to the Grade II* listed building on William Brown Street.
More than 40,000 linear metres of books will be moved during the four-month project, which is due to begin in late November 2012. Around 20 crew members per day will be packing up to 20,000 crates to move the collection. Rare and valuable items, including the £5m Audubon's "Birds of America" that will have its own dedicated room in the new library, will be kept under close guard in secure transportation.
"This is a large and complex project that will take a great deal of careful planning," managing director of Andrew Porter Limited, Tim Aspey said.
"Before the move begins we will be consolidating, re-packing and re-labelling the collection so that the books can easily be placed back on the shelves and in the repository in the correct order. We will also be taking special care to protect the historic fabric of the library building itself during the removal process.
"We are delighted to have been appointed to carry out such an important move and are proud to be a part of the library's marvellous transformation. This project builds on our impressive portfolio of specialist library work and demonstrates the capabilities of our growing business relocation division."
In addition to the move itself, Andrew Porter Limited will help to sustainably dispose of redundant library furniture and equipment, in line with the council's own environmental policies.
Liverpool City Council's cabinet member responsible for libraries, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: "Returning items to the newly refurbished Central Library is a huge task and it's important we work with a company such as Andrew Porter Limited, which has the expertise to handle some of the world's rarest books.
"This project will signal the final stages of the restoration which will see this city centre gem returned to its former glory as well as creating a 21st century facility for all library users."