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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 July, 2004, 07:10 GMT 08:10 UK
New hi-tech home for poet's works
Wordsworth Centre
The centre is based at the poet's former home in Cumbria
Final checks are taking place on a hi-tech building to house the works of one of Cumbria's most famous poets.

The Wordsworth Trust will on Tuesday take the keys to the Jerwood Centre in Grasmere which was custom-built at a cost of 3m to house the collection.

The building at Dove Cottage, the former home of William Wordsworth, will monitor temperature and humidity to protect manuscripts, books and art.

The works will then be moved to their new home in the coming months.

More than 50,000 documents, works of art, and general memorabilia are held by the Wordsworth Trust.

'Hi-tech building'

It is an internationally important collection, which is currently kept in converted farm buildings, where it is difficult to look after the items properly and hard for visiting scholars to study them.

When the new centre is open, it will allow students to examine the documents in comfort.

Wordsworth Trust Director Dr Robert Woof said: "It is fundamental to be able to look after treasures in the most appropriate way and this is what this highly technical building will allow us to do.

"The first principal of looking after things is conservation. While the building took two years to build, it has taken 25 years to prepare the objects so they will be usable when they are in the building.

"It will now take four months to check the environment then slowly move the works into the new place, but we hope by November we will be operating."

About 75,000 people visit Dove Cottage each year.

Since it was founded in 1891, the trust has developed a museum, archive, store, library and shop.

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