By Luke McKernan
We’re delighted to be able to report that from next Monday (February 17th) the former Colindale periodicals collection, which has been in embargo since June 2013, will become available again in the British Library’s reading rooms at St Pancras.
The majority of the periodicals that were formerly held at Colindale (which closed to the public in November 2013) have been transferred to storage facilities in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, from which access can be provided in any St Pancras reading room within 48 hours. A number of high-use periodicals are stored at St Pancras itself, and these can be ordered within 70 minutes.
Periodicals can be ordered online in advance by using Explore the British Library which will have improved information about the titles and volumes that we hold. You will also be able to track the progress of your requests via My Reading Room Requests. Records for microfilm and print newspapers that are currently being moved will become visible at the same time. Although these items remain unavailable for the time being, the records will link to digital versions where these are available, all part of ongoing work to make the connections between the print and access copies of our newspaper and periodical holdings clearer to users.
Microfilm newspapers and periodicals will become available at St Pancras when we open the new reading room at the end of March. The final stage in the transference of the old system to the new will be when print newspapers become available for ordering from Boston Spa, in Autumn 2014, where there is no microfilm or digital access copy that is otherwise available. It is well worth noting that a third of our newspaper and periodicals collection is available through microfilm access copies, which greatly helps us to preserve the fragile print originals.
We have more information on periodicals, our collection moves programme, and the background to why these changes are taking place, here. Our aim is to ensure the long-term future of our newspaper and periodicals collection, and to provide the optimum service for anyone who needs to do research.
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