On 22 January 2016 we celebrated the opening of the Templeman Library’s new west extension and the end of Phase 1 of the Templeman Library Development project, by creating a unique time capsule to be opened in 50 years.
The time capsule is the desk of the University’s first Registrar, Eric Fox. This is one of the few items of furniture that has been kept at the University of Kent since it was founded.
Members of the University community placed items and letters to the future in the drawers and cupboards, then locked them. Those invited to add items included students, staff and alumni, from the Chancellor to the President of Kent Union. The keys will be hidden in the Library walls for 50 years, until 2066. Meanwhile the desk will stay in the Special Collections and Archives reading room for readers to use.
The desk was chosen as a symbol of the work the University undertakes, as so many achievements and innovations are completed from behind a desk. It is a visible reminder of our history as well as a working item of furniture and a time capsule, connecting the University’s past, present and future.
Completion of the West Wing marks the end of the first phase of the major £40m redevelopment of the Templeman Library in the centre of the University’s Canterbury campus. The Wing provides 4,000 sq m of flexible study space, an exhibition gallery, seminar rooms, 1000 sq m of archive storage and 250-seat lecture theatre. Work has now begun on Phase 2 of the Templeman Library project to reconfigure the central area of the existing building, followed by a final phase to redevelop the upper areas.
Commenting on the project, Denise Everitt said: ‘The University of Kent is enjoying considerable success at present – underlined by our excellent rankings in both the Research Excellence Framework and recent university league tables. We have an ambitious new strategic plan that is backed by investment in our academic activity in order to enhance our offer to students and support our staff and students in their research endeavours. A key part of that plan is continued investment in key academic buildings such as the Templeman – the biggest single building project funded by the University.’
Templeman Library Development project
Phase 2 of the Templeman Library Development project is well underway: the central core of the Library will be refurbished to create more study spaces and a support area. There will be wider stairs, new lifts and a south and north entrance, creating a light, spacious and accessible welcome hall. There will also be work to replace the windows and façade in the centre and Templeman East.