Celebrating the move to Cambridge.
The public announcement led to a flood of press attention. This, in turn, led to a
growing fund raising campaign - an effort large enough to freeze all immediate
plans for sale. In May 1993 'The Appeal to Acquire the RCS Library for the Nation'
handed a cheque for £3m to the Society.
Housing the library was a significant concern. The collection required considerable
space and staff attention. Thoughts initially turned to London. However, Cambridge
University Library soon emerged as the preferred choice. Cambridge had existing
strengths in Imperial and Commonwealth Studies and, perhaps most importantly, had
just added a spacious new extension. The move began on July 26th 1993 and lasted a
fortnight. The Society's then Librarian, Terry Barringer, records that 700 metres of bubble
wrap were used along with 1,500 metres of heavy duty sticky tape (1994, p.2 and pp.7-8).
While the future of the collection is now assured, the move to Cambridge is by no
means the end of the library's story. Although new publications are no longer added
to the RCS Library, it still occasionally acquires and accepts relevant manuscript
or photographic archives. The library also remains popular with academics,
researchers and family historians. In 2002 alone it received in the region of 750
telephone and email enquires and over 400 people consulted the collection
personally. Considerable effort is also being directed at improving access to the
RCS holdings. A number of rare printed items have been included in projects by Adam Matthew
Publications and, as well as the Photograph Project, an Archives
Cataloguing Project has just begun. Indeed, over fifteen years since Tysoe
Radley's pronouncement, the RCS Library is far from "a dead thing".