A timeline of major developments during the Jagger Library Recovery Project.
Phase 1: Salvage
Sunday, 18 April
Jagger Reading Room destroyed by a fire
Monday, 19 April
Ms Nikki Crowster (Director: IS&R) appointed Salvage and Recovery Project Lead
Dr Dale Peters, taken on board as advisor in her capacity as former line manager of Special Collections, qualified librarian and trained book and paper conservator for the implementation of the disaster recovery plan and an immediate global call for assistance is made
Tuesday, 20 April
Technical Team discover flooding of the basements of the Jagger Library caused by the ingress caused by the enormous amount of water used to douse the fire.
In consultation with ED: Libraries and Principal Archivist, the decision was made to remove all materials from the basements
Wednesday, 21 April
Establishment of triage tent
A team of local and international expert conservators, co-ordinated by Dr Dale Peters, identified to support the triage
Thursday, 22 April
The building was declared safe for entry.
Initial assessment by UCT Libraries Special Collections staff and identification of most valuable collections for immediate removal
All books are crated and removed from shelves and compactus.
All rolled materials are removed from the basement.
Wednesday-Friday, 5-7 May
All fire rubble removed from the site.
Two additional containers brought onto site to be used as a second cold storage container and a drying chamber.
Random checking of crated and stored materials checked for damp and mould.
Finalisation of off-site premises; commencement of measuring of spatial requirements for reconstituting Special Collections in its new interim home.
Business continuity – scan and email services and book collections by appointment resume 5 May
Off-site book collections resume at Burnage 7 May.
Thursday, 6 May
Undamaged material for physical processing removed from the Jagger store and shelved in the Level 7 compactus. When processed, a note will be added to each item record: Survived the Jagger Library fire, 18 April 2021.
Undamaged donated published materials that still require cataloguing removed from the Jagger store and stored in the Level 7 staff tea room in crates. When catalogued, a note will be added to each item record: Survived the Jagger Library fire, 18 April 2021.
Sunday, 9 May
All materials on shelves and compactus within the Jagger basement is removed.
Removal of the African Studies books relating to Afrikaans and African literature and history from shelving on Level 3.
The Level 3 Jagger store is cleared and dry/safe materials stored.
The Jagger cataloguing store is cleared and materials moved to the Acquisitions store.
Phase 2: Recovery
Monday, 10 May
Mary Minicka, Conservator at the Cape Archives assumes conservator lead at the triage tent.
Fire-damaged surviving administrative records of the Manuscripts Repository is removed from the Archives Office.
Phase One: Salvage of the entire holdings kept in the Jagger Library basements completed.
Tuesday, 11 May
UNESCO Regional Director, Prof Hubert Gijzen visits the Jagger Library site and commits to hosting a digitisation conference at UCT to mark the rebuilding of the “new” library.
Immelman 24/7 is re-arranged and volunteers begin Quality Assurance to ensure all damp and mouldy material is removed.
AV repository moved to University House and AV cleaning crew begins work.
Wednesday, 12 May
African Studies Periodicals removed from Level 4 shelving.
Special Collections Librarians and volunteers embark on huge effort to remove the soot-covered (but stable and intact) ASL Periodicals collection through dry-brushing.
Thursday, 13 May
Triage tent on University Avenue is repurposed as a dedicated Special Collections work space for treating the Administrative records.
Volunteers finish removing the Periodicals from Level 4 and move onto Level 3 for the remaining African Studies Library Books.
New interim premises confirmed for Special Collections in Mowbray where we will be able to reconstitute Special Collections as a library. The layout will include workspaces, a conservation unit, collections infrastructure and storage.
Thursday, 20 May
Mary Minicka’s last day, Special Collections takes over the triage tent.
Monday, 23 May
African Studies Librarians complete project of cleaning soot out of the African Studies Periodicals.
Ongoing rehabilitation of different format materials at different sites.
Friday 28 May
Finalisation of lease for off-site premises.
Thursday, 3 June
Primary Collections Archival team complete their assessment and ‘soot-sweeping’ of the surviving Admin Archives.
Tuesday, 8 June
Completion of the move of the map cabinets to Maitland House by Stuttafords Van Line.
Published collections librarians began stock take of surviving African Studies Library books in Library Learning Lounge.
Thursday, 17 June
Isipani removes final set of African Studies Library books from an area previously inaccessible
African Studies Library team salvages books removed from an area previously inaccessible.
Special Collections continues further triage and conservation of materials in the Library Learning Lounge.
Special Collections staff members visit Maitland House to plan the move.
19 - 23 July
AV archivists embarked on the project to prepare material for digitisation.