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and with a rail. love it :D The imposing shelf unit in the history archive of an investment bank in London is a completely unique construction. It combines the flexibility of a Vario sliding ladder with a radiused rail and the space-saving technology of an Akzent telescopic ladder. On this ladder you will feel safe even when high up because it also has a railing for you to hold onto. And it is high: at almost 4.0 m you can reach the top shelves easily. by MWE // Available upon request!

this makes sense: Akzent telescopic sliding ladder

1stdibs | An Italian Early 18th Century Pinewood Folding Library Ladder

1stdibs | Antique American Folding Metamorphic Ladder

so...i have an old, tall, oak, drawerless, file cabinet. maybe i can do something like this?

Now this is something I could use for "the rest of my life, everywhere! It needs wheels with stoppers though. Then I could push it from room to room."

best design ever. I can see making this a little taller (8 steps vs. 3) and the rungs a little deeper for more sure stepping. it should be still foldable and lightweight for hanging on the wall when needed.

Cloister Library Steps

Central American Primitive Ladder =not my favorite, but keeping for ideas

19th century oak library steps this one is just about perfect

Industrial Crank Scaffold Ladder like bringing a gun to a pencil fight

Folding Library Ladder i know i wanted a folding library ladder, but...

19th Century Metamorphic Table/Library Ladder i think i would not be comfortable stepping on this.