Multiple Reports: “A Fire at the University of Cape Town’s Library Has Likely Destroyed Many Materials”
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.
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.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.