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Goods Lift Helps the Move at The Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

Goods Lift Helps the Move at The Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

The Bodleian Libraries are a collection of approximately 40 libraries that serve the University of Oxford, including, most famously, the Bodleian Library itself, as well as many other central and Faculty libraries. Together, the libraries hold 11 million printed items, amongst other important objects and artifacts.

One of the Bodleian Libraries, The Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies commonly known as Rhodes House Library, was opened in 1929 on South Parks Road, Oxford. The Library holds books, journals, theses, government publications and special collections. The Library is located in Rhodes House, the administrative and social headquarters of the Rhodes Trust.

At the start of 2012 Penny Hydraulics Ltd were approached by Edward Adcock, Head of Book Moving from the Bodleian Library to provide a specialist goods lift to help move large volumes of library and archive material owned by the University of Oxford from a basement stack in a building owned by the Rhodes House Trust, to ground level for transportation off-site.

Library material is being moved to the Bodleian Library Storage Facility in Swindon and eventually, archive material to the Weston Library in Oxford. The famous New Bodleian Library in Broad Street is in the process of being refurbished and re-built as a Special Collections Library to be re-opened in August 2014 as the Weston Library. The moving of this material from Rhodes House is a vital part of this plan.

On consultation with Robin Penny from Penny Hydraulics Ltd, Mr Adcock was advised that a 250kg capacity Case Hoist would be the best goods lift for the job. The Case Hoist was easily and quickly installed in a coal shoot between the basement and ground level of the library to transport the material between the two levels. Robin states “The Case Hoist was the ideal choice for the library; simple to operate, robust and compact in design, perfect for basements like this where space is at a premium.”
A bespoke platform for the Case Hoist was provided to securely accommodate the trolleys used to transport the collections from one site to the next, enabling a seamless transition from the basement to the transport vehicles.

In an unlikely story, Mr Adcock became aware of Penny Hydraulics goods lifts when walking past the Kings Arms in Oxford. Edward saw the popular CellarLift model (used to lift beer barrels and crates from the cellar to ground level) in use at the King's Arms and immediately thought “that is exactly what we need to do the job!”

Since the lift was installed at the beginning of 2013, the removal project has started and will continue until June 2014. By the end of the project, staff from the Bodleian Library's Collection Support Department will have used the Penny Hydraulics Case Hoist to help move 6 kilometres of material out of the building.


Now well into the project, Mr Adcock and team are delighted with the lift and feel it is the ideal tool for the job. Mr Adcock comments “To be a success the lift had to be reliable, quick to run and easy for staff to use. The Case Hoist is ideal as it is so quick to run. It has speeded up the removal process no end and at the same time has reduced any unnecessary manual handling.”
On completion of the project in 2014, the Case Hoist will remain on the premises to assist with the frequent and diverse deliveries to Rhodes House, which range from drinks to building materials.

The project has been an excellent example of how goods lifts can be an effective solution to all sorts of problems associated with moving different materials between floors; be it to handle deliveries into a premises or in this case removal of goods off the premises.

Penny Hydraulics ( www.pennyhydraulics.com) has been manufacturing bespoke lifting solutions for over 30 years and design, manufacture, install and service a wide range of goods lift solutions including custom design and custom built lifting equipment for a wide range of different applications. The companies commercial goods lift customer base ranges from high street retailers including Arcadia Group and Boots, to tyre suppliers such as ATS Euromaster and breweries and pub chains including JD Wethersoon, Young’s and Fullers.
A nationwide network of specialist goods lift service engineers allows Penny Hydraulics to provide maintenance programmes helping companies achieve full compliance with European legislation. A choice of extremely cost-effective service packages which include examination and testing ensure reliable service throughout the life of your investment

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