ANN ARBOR (AP) – The University of Michigan is opening an alternative site and reading room this fall for its William Clemens Library, a repository of historical materials that’s undergoing a two-year renovation, officials announced Tuesday.

The Clemens library was designed by Albert Kahn and opened 90 years ago. It houses collections of papers and historically significant artifacts.

The $16.8 million renovation includes a two-level underground addition, improvements to the climate control, fire suppression and security systems and other infrastructure updates.

“We will physically unite and reorganize large collections currently scattered, and catalog and digitize hidden treasures,” J. Kevin Graffagnino, director of the Clements library, said in a statement. “Our goal is to return to main campus in two years a better-organized, more accessible library.”

The alternative site will open Oct. 1 so that scholars and students can have access to much of the collection, the university said.

The Clements library houses one of the nation’s leading collections of writings, books, maps and other cultural items from early exploration of North America to key developments of the 19th-century U.S.

The renovations “aim to enhance the original architecture of the library constructed of limestone,” while enhancing its wood-paneled interior, the university said in a statement.



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