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Building Features and Spaces

High Pile Preservation Room

Aisle of shelving in High Pile Room

The High Pile Preservation Room in the ARC features high-density shelving that rises 35 feet high, contains more than six miles of shelving space and is environmentally controlled at 50°F with 30 percent relative humidity for ideal preservation of most materials. The climate-control systems in the ARC extend the life of materials stored in the building up to 100 years beyond what would be expected in a traditional library space. 

Initially identified materials currently being processed and moved to the ARC include more than 600,000 non-circulating or low-circulation library items and 3,000 linear feet of archival materials from the University Archives or The Wittliff Collections. The building, which opened in September of 2017, was designed to support 10 years of library growth. Designs for onsite additions to support future growth are in place.

The building has a high-tech fire prevention and suppression system that includes an extremely sensitive Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) that will detect particulates in the air, and a dry suppression system that will only activate water systems when smoke is actually detected, providing maximum protection for these materials.

Research and Reading Room

Workstations and tables in ARC Reading Room

Unlike many high density library facilities, the ARC was designed to be patron-friendly with a reading room that includes top-of-the-line resources for viewing and printing materials. The space includes PC workstations, a Bookeye 4 KIC image scanner, and a large screen TV monitor for viewing media materials.

The Research and Reading Room is open for use Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for official university holiday. The ARC also serves as an official checkout point for all Texas State library materials. Items housed at the ARC can be requested for delivery to the Alkek Library on the Texas State San Marcos campus or to the Round Rock Campus Library.

Art and Artifacts Room

Unique to the Texas State facility, is a secondary climate-controlled environment that will preserve art and artifacts that need a slightly higher temperature and humidity level. Items that need cooler temperatures, but could become brittle in the extreme cold and dry environment, like oil paintings and wooden artifacts, will be stored in the Art and Artifacts room at 68°F and 40 percent relative humidity. The room has compact shelving and large vertical racks for hanging framed artwork.

View into Art & Artifact Room of the ARC

Archivist Workroom

A group is gathered in the Archivist Workroom of the ARC

University archivists from The Wittliff Collections and University Archives now have a place to hold classes and to work with archival materials. The Archivist Workroom has plenty of space to layout collection materials in preparation for exhibitions, cataloging or ingesting.

The spacious room is equipped with workstations, a large screen and printers. 

Sterilization and Quarantine Spaces

Items brought to the ARC will be vacuumed, and when needed, quarantined in a deep freezer that drops to  -51°F and holds the items at that temperature for several days to destroy any pests, molds or contaminants. This is an effort to keep these invasive organisms from infiltrating the materials housed in the ARC. This is particularly useful for items that are donated to or acquired by University Archives or The Wittliff Collections that may not have been stored in the most sterile conditions. 


Processing Room

Tables, workstations and book carts in the ARC processing room

Materials housed in the ARC are not shelved according to call number as they would be in an ordinary library facility. They are processed, barcoded and shelved based on their size in order to maximize efficient use of the space. A customized process for linking each item to its catalog entry and its location on the ARC shelves was developed by library staff in coordination with an outside vendor. In addition, as materials have been prepared for transfer to the ARC, careful review of their catalog entries and enhancements to those descriptions have been made. This has actually improved the chances for discovery of items in the collection, despite their removal from library shelves.