Pick n Pay donates 8 000 crates to help save UCT library after fire
IN AN effort to help UCT salvage and restore valuable material that was housed in the Jagger Library, retailer Pick n Pay has donated 8 000 crates.
The library was damaged during the Table Mountain National Park fires.
According to the retailer, the first 2 000 crates, supplied by CHEP, were delivered by Pick n Pay on Friday morning. The company said it had also sourced an additional 6 000 crates.
CHEP is a company dealing in pallet and container pooling services.
Pick n Pay transformation director Suzanne Ackerman-Berman said: “We were contacted by the UCT executive team who were in urgent need of crates to help store books, documents, maps, and manuscripts from the Jagger Library. Over the weekend, we sent our trucks to collect crates offered by the Paul Cluver Wine Farm in Elgin, as well as from our Longmeadow Distribution Centre in Johannesburg. Delivery of these additional 6 000 crates commenced on Sunday and will be completed on Tuesday.”
The company said 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 and other specialised subjects, as well as 1 300 sub-collections of unique manuscripts and personal papers.
“The crates are used to store the materials carefully in a single layer as they cannot be stacked. The university has a very short time within which to collect and store the precious material before the meticulous restoration process begins. We are honoured to have been called on to make a small contribution towards this important work of saving a part of history,” the retailer added.
The company said while the spread of the fire to other parts of the library was prevented, the library’s contents in the basement suffered water damage as a result of the water used to douse the flames.
According to the company, the material was in the process of being packaged in the crates and sent for cold storage, after which an intensive and scientific process of restoring them will commence.
Speaking on-site on the arrival of the first donation of crates, Ackerman-Berman said the library was not just part of the City of Cape Town, but the entire country.
“Some of our greatest leaders walked these halls, including some of the most revered international academic minds, all of whom have contributed to positive change in South Africa and the rest of the world.
“My heart goes out to volunteers trying to salvage and save all the historic information and books. It is an honour to be asked to play a role in the very important work this team is doing now,” she said.
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