UCT begins work to restore valuable academic resources following fire

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The University of Cape Town has begun work to try to save and restore valuable academic resources, including books, manuscripts, and maps that were housed at the institution’s historical Jagger Library after the devastating fire on Table Mountain.

Part of the library was destroyed by the raging fires. The Jagger Reading Room, which was destroyed by the fire, is part of UCT Libraries’ Special Collections and housed a unique collection of more than 83 000 items of African studies material among other things.

UCT Libraries Executive Director, Ujala Satgoor says: “We put out a call for crates so that materials could be stacked in a responsible way according to preservation requirements.  And Pick ‘n Pay responded in no time at all and we’ve just taken delivery of 2000 crates which is going to assist us tremendously in our efforts today.”

Gallery of the fire and destruction below:

The University aims to see the permanent return of students to their respective residences by late next week. About 4000 students were evacuated due to the fire earlier this week which spread and affected parts of the campus.

The students are currently being accommodated in nearly 30 hotels in the Mother City. They are also receiving meals three times a day thanks to donations that have been pouring in from the public.

Some students were able to return to their residences on Thursday while those at the Fuller and Smuts Hall residences could only collect more of their belongings and will then be moved to another temporary accommodation as their residences were affected by the fire.

Cape Town fires | Evacuated UCT students begin returning to their residences: