Siemens Protects Historic Library in Germany

Siemens Building Technologies designed and installed a complete safety and security solution for one of the oldest library archives in the world.

Siemens supplied a fully interoperable system, comprising intrusion detection, video surveillance, fire detection and a danger management system, to protect Bibliotheca Albertina, the main building of the University Library in Leipzig, one of the oldest German university libraries. Established in 1543, it serves as a source of literature and information for the university as well as the local public. Its extensive historical and special collections are nationally and internationally recognized.

The complete system of safety and security was designed and installed in three stages to provide increased protection for university staff and students, the borrowing public and the library's many assets — precious books in particular — against fire, damage and theft.

The intrusion detection system comprises 1,216 sensor groups and 26 block lock areas with 83 entry points for perimeter protection. One hundred and twenty-five single- and dual-technology motion detectors secure the various areas of the library, while 12 vitrine detectors and 23 picture sensors protect specific exhibits. Thirty-two seismic detectors from were installed in the vault to secure the most valuable books of the library. The alarm system is linked to a video surveillance system from Siemens which includes digital recording and storage of video images, with data collected by 17 cameras. Automatic video recording is triggered in case of intrusion alarms or misuse of emergency exits, enabling rapid event investigation.

The AlgoRex fire detection system from Siemens comprises 270 sensor groups with more than 1,000 detectors, 21 smoke suction systems, a smoke and heat exhaust system with 10 panels and 60 drives, plus emergency door protection with 23 panels.

The library's danger management system (DMS) brings the intrusion and fire system together, as well as enabling building comfort functionality control. Each system can be accessed independently via the DMS. The library's system is used as a remote management station, and networks with the most important locations of the University via Ethernet, a cost-effective way to provide remote access to the live system, particularly during evenings and weekends, during which security managers can remotely monitor events in the library.

As well as the main building, Bibliotheca Albertina, the library consists of forty other branches situated near the relevant academic institutions. Current stock comprises five million volumes and about 7,700 periodicals. Collections range from important medieval and modern manuscripts to incunabula, papyri, autographs, ostraka and coins.

The University of Leipzig itself, located in the Free State of Saxony, Germany, is one of the oldest universities in Europe. Since its inception the University has enjoyed almost 600 years of uninterrupted teaching and research.

The main building in the center of Leipzig started construction in 2005. The estimated total cost for the renovation project is US$187 million and building work is scheduled to be completed in 2009, in time for the University's 600th anniversary celebrations.

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