January 19, 2022

Multiple Reports: “A Fire at the University of Cape Town’s Library Has Likely Destroyed Many Materials”

UPDATE 12 Honouring the Librarians and Archivists Who Built University of Cape Town’s Now-Devastated African Studies Library (via The Daily Maverick)

UPDATE 11: UCT Library Removes What’s Left of its Historic Material (via IOL)

UPDATE 10: UCT Scrambles to Recover Valuable Material Lost in Library Fire (via IOL)

UPDATE 9: Research Libraries UK (RLUK) Issues Statement in Support of the University of Cape Town

UPDATE 8: Precious Historical 19th Century San Archive Saved in UCT Library Fire (viaCapeTalk)

UPDATE 7: South Africa’s UCT Campus Salvaging Books From Burned Library (via Reuters)

UPDATE 6: IFLA Statement on University of Cape Town Library Fire (International Federation of Library Associations)

UPDATE 5: Man Detained As ‘Out Of Control’ Cape Town Fires Continue To Rage (via CNN)

UPDATE 4: Images and Video of the Library (via IOL)

UPDATE 3: Significant Archives Are Under Threat In Cape Town’s Fire. Why They Matter So Much (via The Conversation)

UPDATE 2: African Studies Library at University of Cape Town Needs Your Help! (via Society of American Archivists)

UPDATE: Full Text Statement From the University of Cape Town

—–End Updates–

From The Observer:

When it comes to apocalyptic imagery, it doesn’t get much more dire than pictures of a burning library, and devastatingly, a fire that’s recently torn across South Africa’s Table Mountain down to the University of Cape Town has produced just such imagery. Over the weekend, the fire, which was exacerbated by acutely high temperatures in the region and heavy winds, ripped into the University of Cape Town’s Jagger Library; it’s likely that the incendiary incident has laid waste to thousands of irreplaceable books, manuscripts and other scholarly items.

Learn More, Read the Complete Article

Source: University of Cape Town

More From The Washington Post:

“At this stage, we can confirm the Reading Room is completely gutted and thankfully the fire detection system in place triggered the fire shutters, thereby preventing the spread of the fire to other parts of the library,” Ujala Satgoor, executive director of UCT Libraries, said in a statement.

“Some of our valuable collections have been lost,” she said. “However a full assessment can only be done once the building has been declared safe and we can enter.”

The library houses printed and audiovisual materials on African studies as well as 1,300 sub-collections of unique manuscripts and personal papers, and more than 85,000 books and pamphlets on African studies including up-to-date materials and works on Africa and South Africa printed before 1925, according to the UCT website. It also contains one of the most extensive African film collections in the world, the website added.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: The Loss of the Jagger Reading Room: A Sad Day for UCT Libraries (via UCT Libraries)

See Also: University of Capetown Libraries on Twitter

See Also: University of Cape Town Libraries Fact Sheet (via UCT Libraries)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.