A First Look at the Renovated Schlesinger Library || Radcliffe Institute


– Hello. I’m Tomiko Brown-Nagin,
the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. We’re just completing the
renovation of the Schlesinger Library, and I’ve asked my
colleague, Jane Kamensky, to give you an insider’s
tour of the library. And as you’ll see, the
strategic renovations that we’ve undertaken will
allow students, faculty, and researchers to better access
our world-renowned collections. Welcome. Please take a look. – Welcome to the renovated
Schlesinger Library. People have been trying to get
in these marvelous glass doors ever since we moved
back in, but I wanted to give you a little
preview of what’s coming in these refreshed spaces. The first one that most
visitors will encounter is this magnificent new gallery,
the Lia and William Poorvu Gallery, which will host
exhibits thematizing Schlesinger collections. One of the exciting features of
the gallery for our audiences is this sort of study
and reflection nook where students and
others who come can sort of sit and
study and reflect. It’s the kind of space that
students have been asking us for on the Radcliffe
yard for some time, so we’re really excited
that that will happen here at Schlesinger. So one of the things you’ll
notice throughout the library is there’s a lot
of glass around, from this new
transparent approach through these double doors, and
in various other public spaces. And I think a theme
of the renovation is transparency and visibility,
making our collections visible, making the work of the
library and the institute visible to students,
and to researchers, and other kinds of
storytellers who will work in the reading
room and in our instructional program. So when you see all
the glass, think about making visible
the invisible work of the staff here,
and the invisible work of the construction that
turned around the staircase and the elevator to give
us these new open spaces. This is our public
services floor with the Carol
Pforzheimer Reading Room on the right, another new wall
of glass welcoming researchers into that room. And then this new seminar
space, which is, I think, one of the features of
the renovation that’s most exciting, takes a former
information commons and turns it into a spacious,
state-of-the-art seminar room for working with students from
original archival materials. My colleagues are
having a little meeting in the adjacent space, which is
a new digital commons, a place where researchers will be able
to work on joint projects, and also with
non-paper materials or in digital materials,
audio-visual materials, microfilm. So there’s a lot of
technological bells and whistles. I think it’ll be a
game changer, not only for the kinds of sources
people work with, but for the way we work. So thanks for coming on
this little sneak preview. And we look forward to welcoming
you back when we’re open. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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