Guide to Re-Using Lambert’s Industrial Shelving

Salvaged industrial shelving by Retrouvius


Before the late 19th century all libraries were essentially a front counter beyond which the public were not admitted with precious books ordered and retrieved by their custodians, the librarians. As literacy increased throughout the populace and with social reform allowing greater access to books this system was superseded. The public could roam amongst the books and shelves in a way that they could not have dreamt of previously a new practical storage for this new age had to be designed.



In the 1880’s Arthur Lambert teamed up with W Lucy & Co, an iron and steel fabricator in Oxford to manufacture the ‘Perfect Adjustable Shelving’ system. Strong steel upright columns feature continuous grooves to carry shelf brackets that adjust to a desired height and then lock into any place. Metal book shelves were also deemed better than wood because they allowed more air circulation, lower humidity and reduced risks of insect infestations and moulds in paper.



Lambert’s shelving was installed in many prominent institutions such as the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the Linnean Society and at the Patent Office on Chancery Lane.



Our shelving units are extremely versatile as they can be configured in numerous ways; bookshelves, clothes hanging, home and shop use etc. We have installed the Patent Shelving in many homes and shops, proving that Lambert’s design offers flexibility and a practical solution for contemporary living.



In a shop on Savile Row, the shelving lends itself to the style of the traditional, durable and British made, gentleman’s outfitters.

View Reclaimed Shelving & Storage Currently in Stock


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