Built in the 17th century, the Old Library at Jesus College lies in a range of Grade I listed buildings, forming a significant part of the historic core of the College which dates from its foundation as a nunnery in the 12th century. Despite the existence of the new Quincentenary Library where much of the day-to-day work of undergraduates and graduates takes place, the Old Library remains the repository for important manuscripts. The value of its interior and contents demand that care is taken in respect of fire prevention and environmental control.
Donald Insall Associates led a major refurbishment of the library, involving external and internal repairs. new UV screened lighting, measures for environmental control, fire stopping and detection, enhanced security, a new readers’ desk with integral lighting and ICT facilities, modifications to display cases, new oak flooring and staircase in ancillary areas, new lavatories and the recreation of historic decoration.
The work was carried out over a three month summer vacation without disruption to ongoing conference events elsewhere in the College, and involved continuous archaeological investigation and analysis.