The stages in the project
Work began with the removal of the collections and is continuing with the restructuring of the indoor areas. The schedule is as follows.
Initially, the State acquired for the BNU a building in the Rue Fischart which had been built in the 1970s and was formerly owned by the Council of the Bas-Rhin département. The building had previously housed the département's archives, which had been moved to allow the building to be renovated; this was completed in September 2010, ready to provide better conditions for housing some of the BNU's collections.
A new reserve stack was then created for the BNU's most valuable collections, which had previously been stored in the building on the Place de la République (manuscripts and incunabula). The collections were moved in December 2010 and January 2011 by qualified BNU staff.
At the same time, a storage site near the airport at Entzheim was fitted out to take half the collections; this involved more than 30 linear kilometres of documentation.
The other collections were moved by the commercial removals company Mondia, at the rate of between 400 and 500 linear metres per day on average.
With a view to opening new areas for the public, and the closure of the building on the Place de la République on 1 October 2010, the reading room in the Joffre building was renovated. Two reading rooms are henceforth accessible - at 5 Rue du Maréchal Joffre and at 9 Rue Fischart.
On 21 January 2011, the BNU's staff finally left the building on the Place de la République so that the builders could start work. The demolition of the indoor areas will continue throughout 2011.
In 2012 and up to the end of 2013, the indoor areas will be reconstructed; the dome will be repaired, the central staircase built, and the outside façades - which are listed as a Historic Monument - restored.
According to this schedule, the BNU's flagship building on the Place de la République is planned to re-open to the public during the first half of 2014.