About the Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF)

The new Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF) will be located on South Campus, just south of the Fort Edmonton/South Campus LRT station and Saville Community Sports Centre. Construction began in April 2016, with project completion planned for spring of 2017.

The RCRF will replace the Book and Record Depository (BARD), which is a library and archives storage facility located off campus. BARD was opened in 1994 and now houses approx. 3.1 million less frequently accessed library items, including the University Archives. Over the past several years, the university has been investigating options to relocate the collection from BARD to a location that would provide better access by the academic body.

After much research and discussion the U of A Board of Governors decided that a new facility, the RCRF, would be built on the U of A South Campus to better achieve the following goals:

  • provide an appropriate, functional and welcoming space for staff, students and visitors for academic and special research purposes and goals;
  • be located in a more suitable, low-risk location, free from a high-risk dangerous goods railway line, decreasing the liability exposure and risk profile, protecting the irreplaceable collection and the University Archives;
  • improve the proximity of the facility to North Campus, ideally accessible by LRT, for better access by students, staff and researchers;
  • accommodate growth and the backlog of unprocessed materials to the collection;
  • accommodate items relocated from North Campus to free up valuable space for academic requirements; and
  • provide appropriate quantity, type and function of space for processing, storing, and digitizing materials in the collection.

The University engaged Stuart Olson Construction Limited who teamed with HFKS Architects to design a storage space that also accommodates staff operations and a reading room for student and public use (appointment only). The public spaces are reserved for the use of students, faculty, visitors and other researchers wanting to access items that are not suitable for transportation by road to the U of A’s libraries or other library partners.

For more detailed information about this building project, review the document presented at the RCRF Open Houses in the fall of 2015.