Planning for Construction
The internal preparations for our renovation are continuing to move along. Art is being de-installed from August 21st to August 23rd. On these days there will be longer wait times for the elevators and noise in the library. Construction documents and building permits are being requested and submitted this month. Phase one of the renovation is set to begin on October 7, 2019. In October, the first project outside will be creating a bridge to connect Huntington Avenue to the library. There will also be interior renovations in the library to connect to the bridge. After the bridge, the first floor of the renovation will make space for a Café, Coop bookstore, and an event space. The second floor renovation will redesign staff and student workspace. The Russel Reading Room will move from the first to second floor. The circulation desk will move from the first floor to lower level one. We're thrilled to be moving along with our renovation plans and excited for construction to begin. Thank you for your ongoing patience, support, and flexibility as we create a new exciting library for our students, staff, and faulty to enjoy.
Beginning August 1, Countway will initiate the deinstallation of paintings, sculpture, and Center for the History of Medicine objects, artifacts, and special collections located on floors L2 through 5, including the Warren Anatomical Museum Galley and works hanging in 5th floor conference rooms. The deinstallation, packing, and storage of these collections is a critical first step in preparing the building for renovation. Vibration from equipment, dust generated during construction, off-gassing from paint and adhesives, and the constant movement and use of equipment can significantly compromise the physical integrity of special collections; putting these works in storage is essential to their long-term viability.
Equally important, the deinstallation affords staff the opportunity to reimagine how we share our holdings and plan for the reinstallation of works in new locations to better surface Longwood area contributions to medicine, dentistry, and public health; contextualize our historical collections for users; select for reinstallation those works that enrich the Center’s research, teaching, and learning services; and engage in conversations that promote the use of historical collections to advance both academic and social change.
Center staff are particularly excited about the opportunity to put new objects and specimens on display post-renovation. Over the next year, our Warren Anatomical Museum Curator will be selecting and preparing objects and specimens that have never before been exhibited at Countway for our Gallery reopening in early 2021. While exhibits are off display, the Center will continue to offer by appointment instructional sessions in the Center on L2. Also look for new content and object spotlights on the Countway website and in OnView, the Center’s home for digital exhibits, photographs, museum objects, and more. During this process, we welcome your thoughts and feedback.
- Emily Novak Gustainis, Deputy Director, Center for the History of Medicine, Countway Library
What happened to the W’s?
If you visit the southeast corner of L1 (near the men’s rest room), you will notice a range of recently emptied shelves where the general W’s of the collection should be. As we draw nearer to the start of the renovation project, one of the initial things that will need to happen is for utility work to be done in the ceiling space on L1 to accommodate the new café and additional rest rooms that will be added to the first floor. To allow this work to happen as efficiently as possible, these W’s were moved down to L2 (by the farthest wall from the entrance) and this space will become “swing space” for books from other parts of L1 that need to be temporarily moved. Some signage is already on the end caps of these shelves with information on how to find these materials and as items continue to move, ample additional signage will be created.
Current Shattuck Street Entrance:
Artist Rendering of 2nd Countway Entrance for Huntington Avenue:
Creation of program and space that is reflective of a 21st Century Health Science & Medical Library
A program that aligns, supports, reflects HMS strategic goals:
Promoting Innovation, Discovery & Academic Excellence, Increasing Collaboration
Enabling Success through Developing People,
Process Improvement and Advanced Technology,
Building a Culture of Diversity & Inclusion,
Organizing our Intellectual Community to Solve Societal Problems.
Preferences from our Campus
- Natural Light/ views
- Studying + coffee/ café
- Places for study breaks
- Opportunities for interdisciplinary events/ idea exchange
- More collaborative work space
- Structured study space: table surface for materials, ergonomically appropriate
- Multi-use instruction/ event space
- Variety in display/ exhibit settings.
HMS News: Building a Community Space
As the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine prepares to start a transformative renovation this year, Director and Head Librarian Elaine Martin is excited about creating new ways to serve the academic and personal needs of the Harvard Medical School community...