Library of Congress Collection Storage Module

Collection Storage Module 6 – Library of Congress

In 1994, a 100-acre site located in the US Army base at Fort Meade, Maryland, was assigned to the US Congress to provide additional storage capacity for the Library of Congress.

State-of-the-art storage modules are being built to house, preserve, and protect the library’s various collections that include books, bound periodicals, maps, manuscripts, prints, photographs, sheet music and microfilm.

The storage units are being designed and constructed in phases and additional units can be added if necessary. If needed, the site can accommodate a total thirteen units adding up to 180,600 square feet of archival storage for the library’s collections.

The design of the storage modules focuses on reducing the risk of damage to the items by considering temperature, humidity control, air quality, lighting levels, proper building materials and fire protection.

The storage modules are kept at 50 degrees Fahrenheit consistently with a humidity level of 35%. The optimal cool and dry environmental conditions in the modules will help to preserve the items sixfold from an expected 40 years on Capitol hill to an estimated 240 years at Fort Meade.

As of 2017, five of the modules had been erected. In early 2020 Kaempf and Harris was contracted by Warner Mechanical to install the sheet metal and accessories in storage module number six.

Materials installed by Kaempf and Harris throughout the year-long project included: 112,000 pounds of sheet metal, one Air Handling Unit, two Dehumidification Units, 183 registers, grilles, and diffusers, seven fans, 56 fire/smoke dampers, and the flues off both of the dehumidification units and boiler.

The biggest challenge faced was the layout of the ductwork in conjunction with the 30-foot-high shelving units.

Both the supply and return air ducts were routed above the shelving unit. Extremely intricate coordination had to result with the duct and shelving to ensure that the duct branch lines and drops served the precise locations at the shelving units. Air flow and cooling of the module is the most critical part of the project.
The project started in February of 2020 and was completed in February of 2021.

The first containers holding sheet music, were placed on the shelves in the module on August 16th, 2021. The expectation is that another 16 million items will be placed on the shelves in the next three years.

Upon completion of the project, all the members of the Kaempf and Harris team including management, shop fabricators, and field installers, were extremely proud of what had accomplished and know that in part of our efforts, we are helping preserve these historic materials for future generations.

Project Stats

Project Type

New Construction/Medical Testing Facilit

Project Specs

64,000 Sq. Ft.


Frederick, MD

Project Photos

Library of Congress Collection Storage Module

Recent Blog Posts

local metal fabrication

6 Reasons to Choose A Local Metal Fabricator

Read More

welder with OSHA training welding metal with blue flame

Kaempf & Harris Team Completes OSHA Training

Read More

ribbon cutting for new frederick health thurmont immediate care building

Frederick Health Thurmont Immediate Care Ribbon Cutting

Read More