Call For Scholars to Contribute to Recovery of UCT After Tragic Fire

Academics and researchers are asked to contribute scans and photos

The gutted interior of the University of Cape Town library's Jagger Reading Room, which was built in the 1930s.
Ashraf Hendricks / GroundUp

On April 18th, forest fires raging in South Africa’s Table Mountain National Park reached the University of Cape Town (UCT), and destroyed the reading room of its main library, which houses irreplaceable documents and records from the country’s past. Researchers have set up an online page asking for anyone with photos or digital scans of the library’s collections to upload them.

The call asks that academics and other researchers around the world who have worked in these special collections and have taken photocopies or mobile phone images of documents to contribute these to help recover some of the lost records. Contributors are asked to fill in the form one time for each document that they have. The results will then be collated by Dr Maha Rafi Atal, Copenhagen Business School, and passed to UCT.

To contribute, visit the UCT African Studies Library Special Collections Recovery page.