Special Collections secure storage environment is located on the fourth floor the University's Library. Special Collection's climate-controlled stacks feature 2,550 linear feet of compact shelving, 3,200 linear feet of open shelving, 35 vertical feet of flat file cases for oversize documents, and 75 linear feet of file cabinets for hanging vertical files. In total, the storage environment offers 5,560 feet of shelving and cases for an estimated 3,500 linear feet of materials in the Rare Books, Manuscripts, University Archives, and Chattanooga History Collections.
All materials are housed in Special Collections' state-of-the-art storage facility, which is maintained at a constant temperature and relative humidity of 65 °F and 55%, respectively. Additionally, Special Collections boasts an environmental chamber with a constant temperature of 60 °F and 45% relative humidity. Overhead lights are programmed to automatically turn off after three minutes of inactivity in the stacks, protecting our unique and valuable materials from constant light exposure. Windows in the storage environment feature blackout film that further protects collections from UV and light.
Special Collections is also dedicated to securing collections. The repository accomplishes this by creating detailed inventories of materials and their containers. Each box, garment bag, vertical file, and flat file in Special Collections is labeled and barcoded, which ensures physical control of collections. Access to the storage environment is monitored through the University's identification card access system.
Special Collections is committed to making collections as accessible as possible. The repository is open to the university and public. Materials from Special Collections are exhibited on a regular basis in the UTC Library's Andrew C. Roth Grand Reading Room, which features two permanent display cases. The display cases feature a protective coating that filters light to protect materials. Items are not displayed for more than six months at a time, which further protects the materials from damage.