Case study: Cranfield University - Silsoe to Cranfield campus move


Pickfords managed the movement of the University of Cranfield's Library, which included specialist heavy lifting removals services, archive cataloguing and racking cleaning and rebuilding.

The client

Cranfield University is a wholly postgraduate institution and has a global reputation for inspirational teaching and research, industrial-scale facilities and superior links with industry and commerce. The University houses the World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue (Wossac).


This relocation included the 3,000lm+ library comprising the world’s largest soil and map archives. A rough estimate, almost certainly on the low side, is that such survey volumes number many thousand and that by today’s prices these would have cost well over £200 million. This is an extremely valuable bank of international data about soils, their nature, properties and potential use which had to be sequentially packed, moved and relocated.


The library was moved using 150 roll cages, outsized crates, trunk board and corex to protect the largest documents and maps. As part of the library relocation the racking was removed, cleaned and rebuilt with the archives re-catalogued and location mapped. Tail-lift vans were required to move the library. As part of the move specialist heavy lifting and transportation machinery was used to move other large items measuring up to 6m x 6m x 6m and 14 tonnes in weight.


Pickfords successfully relocated the entire Silsoe campus to the Cranfield site over a fifteen month period.

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