U of T Libraries’ Downsview high-tech facility has room for about 5 million volumes
The cavernous University of Toronto preservation facility at Downsview bears a passing resemblance to the top secret warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Visitors usually are not allowed, but those who are let inside are confronted with row upon row of shelves 35 feet tall. Books on topics ranging from Victorian Britain to classical Japanese poetry are neatly organized in white cardboard trays with barcodes.
The site in North York is home to just shy of three million volumes – and millions more are expected to arrive.
Soon, four other universities will benefit from the extra space and high-tech storage conditions at U of T Libraries Downsview. U of T reached an agreement this week with the University of Ottawa, Western University, McMaster University and Queen’s University to share their collections and preserve them at Downsview for generations.