Planning for the renovated Baker was an incredibly important task for us, not only in terms of design and meeting our physical requirements for these collections, because this was an opportunity to really design a space that was appropriate for the materials that we had, and we really have wonderful space, both in terms of the extent of stack space, and temperature and humidity controls, a really wonderful reading room, and also work spaces.

But one of the important things when we were looking at the new building, and this opportunity, it was also an opportunity to really go beyond providing access to the material, which is very important. But to actually be able to get involved in the intellectual discipline itself—to be able to contribute to that dialogue by doing exhibitions, publications, websites, programs, etc.. An outreach program was what we were looking for—to develop an outreach program.

And we were able to have the support of Philippe and Nan-b de Gaspe Beaubien, the de Gaspe Beaubien Family Foundation, provided an endowment that supports those activities that we’re now able to do in this new facility. And so we do have the de Gaspe Beaubien Reading Room.