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Texas State University

Spaces & Equipment

Archives and Research Center Building Features

The Texas State University Archives and Research Center (ARC) is a state-of-the-art university library that will preserve decades of university treasures and library resources, including materials from the Albert B. Alkek Library, the Texas State University – University Archives, and The Wittliff Collections.

The building, which opened in September of 2017, was designed to support 10 years of library growth. The ARC’s climate-controlled environment features cold temperatures and low humidity that will prolong the life university assets. This keeps them available for exploration and discovery while supporting the growth of University Libraries and Texas State. The ARC is a closed-stacks facility that is open to the public and includes a reading room to allow students, faculty, staff, researchers, and community members to review and interact with materials on site. 

Initially more than 600,000 non-circulating or low-circulation library items, as well as 3,000 linear feet of archival materials from the University Archives and The Wittliff Collections, were identified to be processed and moved to the ARC. By accomplishing this move of materials, the Alkek Library was able to re-purpose valuable space for the Wittliff Gallery expansion, Alkek One and multiple student collaboration areas.

Reading Room

The Reading Room is open for use Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for official university holidays. The Reading Room offers tables for research and quiet study, PC workstations, a Bookeye 4 KIC image scanner, a large screen TV for viewing media, small media stations and a printer.

Patrons may request items from the Alkek Library or the Round Rock Library be delivered to the ARC for their convenience. Any of the items housed at the ARC can also be requested for delivery to the Alkek Library Circulation Desk on the Texas State San Marcos campus, or to the Round Rock Campus Library.  

ARC Reading Room

High Pile

The High Pile 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. The climate-control systems in the ARC will extend the life of materials stored in the building up to 100 years beyond what would be expected in a traditional library space.

The High Pile is equipped with a high-tech fire suppression system that includes a Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus (VESDA) which will detect smoke particulates in the air, and a dry suppression system which will only dispense water to the sprinklers in the room where smoke is detected, providing maximum protection for these materials.

ARC High Pile

Art and Artifact Room

The Art and Artifact Room is a secondary climate-controlled environment designed to preserve art and artifacts that prefer 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, are 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. 

ARC Art and Artifacts Room

Quarantine Room

Items brought to the ARC are vacuumed, and when needed, quarantined in a walk-in freezer that drops rapidly to  -24°F and holds the items at that temperature for several days. Holding items at this temperature destroys any pests, molds, contaminants or insect eggs in the materials. This is particularly useful for items that are donated to or acquired by University Archives or The Wittliff Collections that may have been stored in less than ideal preservation environments. 

ARC Quarantine Room

Archivist Workroom

University archivists from The Wittliff Collections and University Archives have a large workroom at the ARC to interact with archival materials. The Archivist Workroom has plenty of space to lay out collection materials in preparation for exhibitions, cataloging or ingesting.

ARC Archivist Workroom

Processing Room

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.

ARC Processing Room