Minnesota Library Storage: Facility & Environment

MLAC is located in one of two caverns located 85 feet under the Elmer L. Andersen Library on the West Bank Campus of the University of Minnesota.

  • MLAC opened in January 2000.
  • Estimated capacity is 1.4 million volumes.
  • Current deposits are 1.1 million volumes on deposit from 16 Minnesota Libraries.
  • The temperature is maintained at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (+- 2.5 degrees).
  • Relative humidity is maintained at 50% (+- 4%).

MLAC Timeline & Photos

February 11, 1997

  • Governor Arne Carlson signs legislation allocating $38.5 million to build Andersen Library.
Diagram of MLAC cavern span.

The MLAC caverns span 600 feet beneath the University of Minnesota's West Bank campus.

July 31, 1997

Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Elmer L. Andersen Library.

  • Construction of Andersen Library begins.
  • Construction of the $42 million library involved mining caverns and tunnels with a total footprint of 106,000 square feet and an excavated volume of 100,000 cubic yards. Each of the two caverns is 600 feet long, 25 feet high, and 70 feet wide and was constructed in easily excavated St. Peter Sandstone with an overhead limestone roof.

November 15, 1999

  • Construction Completed.

January 2000

  • First books accessioned into MLAC from University of Minnesota collection.
Forklift in MLAC Caverns.

Books shelved and retrieved in MLAC via forklift.

June 2000

  • Ended fiscal year with 112,920 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2001

  • Ended fiscal year with 353,293 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2002

  • Ended fiscal year with 547,645 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2003

  • Ended fiscal year with 796,060 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2004

  • Ended fiscal year with 888,257 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2005

  • Ended fiscal year with 974,419 volumes deposited in MLAC.
MLAC Stacks.

Fiscal year 2007 ended with an estimated 1,150,000 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2006

  • Ended fiscal year with 1,040,975 volumes deposited in MLAC.

June 2007 (Estimate)

  • Ended fiscal year with 1,150,000 volumes deposited in MLAC.

MLAC Has Received Deposits From:

  • 3 Public Libraries
  • 9 Academic Libraries
  • 2 Governmental Libraries
  • Libraries of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Duluth Campuses

Other High Density Storage Facilities

Links to other high density storage facilities.

Shared Storage Facilities

Examples From Other Libraries

Examples include: criteria for selecting items for storage; handling public relations; managing the move.

MLAC: A Virtual Tour

Bib the Book icon.

Take a slideshow tour of the Minnesota Library Access Center from the book's point of view, hosted by Bib the Book.