Library repository - Shade Design - University of St Andrews

  • University-of-St-Andrews-Shade-design_01

Library repository - Shade Design - University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews’ library has installed a Bruynzeel mobile storage system to hold its extensive collection of gifts from benefactors. Bruynzeel won the contract after providing an innovative design that gave the University significantly more storage capacity than it had originally anticipated.

University of St Andrews:

Founded in 1411, St Andrews is Scotland’s oldest university. All through its history, the University has accumulated valuable gifts from benefactors. These include original documents, books, art works, furniture, photographs, laboratory equipment and scientific specimens. The University library holds the documents and books that form the bulk of the collection, including almost 6,000 volumes from the estate of Sir Steven Runciman, the distinguished historian of the crusades. The donated books, manuscripts and archives are held in the area of the library previously occupied by the Joint Library Bindery that was hared with the University of Dundee.


The Librarian, Neil Dumbleton acknowledged that this space was not being used to maximum effect. As he says: “It was used as a holding pen for donations prior to deciding whether they should be added permanently to the collections.” Action was precipitated by a decision to use over half the Bindery space to accommodate the university’s museum collections and some associated staff. Funding was allocated to rationalise and compress the book and document storage in order to release the necessary space.

The Solution:

In all five companies were invited to tender for the contract to design and install a system to house the book and document collection. The tender documentation included an outline plan for the storage units needed to provide the shelving required. However, following a comprehensive site survey, Bruynzeel developed an alternative and innovative solution that increased the storage capacity in The Bindery by far more than that initially calculated by the University. The design proposed by Bruynzeel was based around their manually operated high density mobile storage system in Shade design.

 Neil Dumbleton says of the Bruynzeel tender: We were very impressed by the solution that Bruynzeel proposed. Although it was not the cheapest tender, the quality of the products and high service levels helped win them the contract. As an overall package, it offered us the best value for the money.” Neil and his colleagues were reassured by the considerable experience and expertise that Bruynzeel represented: ‘We knew that frontline staff had plenty of practical local experience and their technical team obviously understood our requirements very clearly. We also visited other sites with Bruynzeel installations and talked to their customers before awarding the contract.”


  • The scheme implemented in The Bindery incorporates almost 650 linear metres of shelving, housed in six mobile units.
  • These are fitted with in-track stabilisers to ensure ease of use.
  • Integral safety features mean that the units are completely safe to use.
  • The extremely high quality of engineering and gearing means that, even when completely loaded, the units can be moved almost effortlessly. This guarantees easy and safe day-to-day operation, with consequential benefits to users.
  • The Bruynzeel solution has saved over 50% of the floor area in the bindery while providing much improved storage for the library’s collection of gifts from benefactors.
  • With the space saved, the University has created room for five additional staff.