Thank you to all our volunteers – alumni, students, academics, retired and current UCT Libraries staff, UCT staff, conservators, staff from sister institutions, and local Capetonians who responded to our call for help throughout this salvage period. We also wish to acknowledge the University Executive for their support and confidence in the Libraries team; Properties & Services for the unquestioning and unstinting project support at every turn; Communications and Marketing Division; Development and Alumni Division, academic departments and centres. Read the full message of thanks from our Libraries ED
The volunteer corps became an ‘army for the archive’ with the singular goal - the speedy removal of the collections from the wet, mouldy basements. People returned, again and again, to salvage collections until everything that could be removed by hand was taken out of the basement. The shared intensity of the experience elicited an unforgettable camaraderie that also alleviated the isolation and desolation of the 2020 lockdown.Read more
Triage involved the assessment of damaged materials at the point of crating and immediate treatment based on urgency. Severely water damaged materials were directed to the Triage Tent, which was coordinated by professional local and international conservators who volunteered their time and expertise.
Disaster Management Project Team
First responders of the disaster, ran the disaster management project from out of an open air office set up on benches outside the entrance of the Jagger Library on University Avenue. This led the salvage of furniture, books and archives by Libraries staff in the days immediately after the fire, before the volunteers arrived.
Jagger Salvage Project Team
Libraries staff led the volunteer coordination process during the month long salvage project. This included daily registrations, induction with occupational health and safety procedures and COVID protocols for working on a construction site. The Special Collections team led the salvage coordination and prioritisation of wet and fire damaged materials for removal from the Jagger basement.
Communications & Marketing Team
While the physical salvage and recovery efforts ensued on campus, a communications team operated in the background providing real-time updates to the media and the concerned public throughout the Jagger Salvage and Recovery project. They were also responsible for volunteer recruitment during the salvage stage and the call for many crates and boxes!
The Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Dan Plato visited the Jagger fire site days after the fire. Followed later by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Buti Manamela who came to observe the conservation work in the Triage tent. Official visits continued in May 2022, when the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Blade Nzimande visited the Jagger site and triage tent with Chancellor Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe and Vice-Chancellor Mamokgethi Phakeng.