The Minnesota Library Access Center will bring together 10 archive collections, three of which will be combined, making eight areas of interest in the facility.
While the literary manuscript collection, performing arts archive and the northwest architectural archives will be lumped into the same area, a common theme also runs through some of the other subjects.
The Charles Babbage Institute Archives of the History of Data Processing, Immigration History Research Center Archives, Social Welfare history archives and the YMCA archives are all tied to the social conditions and history throughout the United States.
Other collections include the University Archives, Children’s Literature research collection and special collections of rare books.
The archivists will surely discover more linkages between the topics when they share space with one another, Klaassen said.
He also pointed out that the groups can now share resources that might not have been economically feasible for just one collection.
Also moving is the MINITEX library information network from the basement of Wilson Library. The network will continue to put people in touch with 60 million to 70 million volumes of library resources. Taking up the center’s entire first floor, the state-run interlibrary exchange network is about 30 years old.
The system allows users to request a book at any library throughout the state and in select libraries in nearby states.
Although the University doesn’t fund the system, it houses it because the school is the largest net materials lender in the country — lending more texts than even the Library of Congress.
The net lending amount is figured by subtracting the number of things borrowed from other libraries from the number of books lent out.
“It benefits us as much to have them here as much as it benefits them,” said Donald Kelsey, libraries facilities planning officer.
With 50 to 60 staff members, MINITEX couriers books around the state and also sends texts and copied portions of text around the country.
To make materials even more accessible, MINITEX will also start digitizing text for their patrons. The text-digitizing lab will make the process more convenient and affordable.