In June 2000, Columbia University, Princeton University and The New York Public Library signed a partnership agreement to jointly construct and operate a remote high-density book shelving facility under the auspices of the Research Collections and Preservation (ReCAP) Consortium, Inc. ReCAP is a 501(c)3 corporation whose exempt purpose is to enable its members to "further their needs for library storage and retrieval, and related collections and information management."
Founding Executive Director Eileen Henthorne oversaw the development of ReCAP's operations, and construction of its current physical plan in four main phases - Modules 1-3 (2002), Module 4 (2005), Module 5 (2008), and Modules 8-9 (2013). The first four modules each consist of six aisles of shelving, with 37 ladders (vertical shelving sections) on each side of the aisle. Module 5 consists of 10 aisles, with 41 ladders on each side. Modules 8 and 9 are 12-aisle designs, with 42 ladders on each side. Module 9 is currently fitted with 6.5 aisles, with additional open space that will be built out in 2017-18. Initially, ReCAP arranged the intake of library collections, provided next-day delivery of materials to the partners' library sites, and supplied electronic document delivery. Starting in 2007, ReCAP expanded its service to incorporate Interlibrary Loan and Borrow Direct, services that now account for approximately 10% of annual requests.
Previous Executive Director Jacob Nadal joined ReCAP in 2014 to oversee the development of the consortium's shared collections and cooperative print archives efforts, and expand the services provided from the facility. In 2015, the consortium started development of the software required to enable shared collections across multiple partner institutions, with a fully integrated shared collection service going live in the fall of 2017. This work was supported by a planning grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2012, and an implementation grant in 2015. The resulting "Shared Collection Service Bus (SCSB)" is a free and open-source platform that provide indexes of shared materials that can be integrated into library research discovery systems, and manages requests seamlessly for print or digital delivery across multiple library and inventory management systems. Harvard University Library joined ReCAP in 2016 and began storing material at the facility that fall.
Current Executive Director Ian Bogus has led ReCAP since 2017, guiding the Consortium through further enhancements in service and continuation of middleware development. The expansion of ReCAP's membership and holdings has inspired a new emphasis on collaborative collection building and management. ReCAP has over 16 million library and archives items in its care, placing it among the largest single-site collections of research materials in the world. ReCAP fulfills as many as 250,000 requests each year in print or digital format to its partner's libraries and, through interlibrary lending, to researchers around the world.
ReCAP staff are employees of Princeton University, and our team includes several employees who have been with ReCAP since day one. We are proud to recognize their commitment to ReCAP and our partners, and we are grateful for the contribution they make every day:
15+ Years of Service at ReCAP
10+ Years of Service at ReCAP
5+ Years of Service at ReCAP
Edward A. Cleary