University of Cape Town UCT Library
UCT Libraries came into being in 1905 when the printed resources accumulated by the then South African College were, for the first time, assembled into an organised collection by the incumbent professor of modern languages. That original library collection was housed in Hiddingh Hall on the Hiddingh Campus.
Today that collection consists of more than 1,2 million volumes, including a number of special collections. The Libraries’ journal holdings consist of over 72,000 e-journal titles and more than 28,500 print journal titles. Our students and researchers can explore the world’s scholarly literature using 190 high-quality electronic databases. Resources in audiovisual and other formats number more than 38,000 items.
The collection is housed in the main library – the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library – and nine branch libraries situated on UCT’s various campuses in close proximity to the academic departments they serve. (Read more about the History of UCT Libraries.)
The Chancellor Oppenheimer Library
The Chancellor Oppenheimer Library (COL) lies at the heart of UCT’s Upper Campus and spans three buildings which form a U-shaped structure surrounding the University’s historic assembly venue, Jameson Hall. (Upper Campus Plan)
The central section of the COL houses our user services: the Loans Desk, Short Loans Centre, Interlibrary Loans, and the Information Desk, as well as study space, audio-visual viewing facilities, bookstacks and journals. Adjoining this area are the Undergraduate Wing on the north side, and the Research Wing to the south.
The Undergraduate Wing provides work and study space for undergraduate students, and includes the Knowledge Commons—an undergraduate research facility fitted with well-equipped computer workstations where students can access the Libraries’ electronic resources, use a variety of computer applications, and obtain assistance from professional librarians.
The Research Wing occupies the original J.W. Jagger building, which forms the south side of the COL. It offers quiet workspace for senior and postgraduate students and houses the current journals display, the UCT thesis collection, and the offices of our subject-specialist librarians. On the uppermost level of the Research Wing is the Research Commons, which provides well-appointed workspace and high-end technology, as well as expert assistance, to academic staff and postgraduate students at master’s and doctoral level.
The lower levels of the Research wing house our major research collections: the African Studies Library, Manuscripts & Archives, Rare Books & Special Collections, and the Government Publications Department.
Branch Libraries and Departments
African Studies Collection (Library map: COL Levels 1-3)
Situated on Levels 2 and 3 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, the African Studies Collection is part of UCT Libraries’ Special Collections Division. The African Studies Collection is an internationally-renowned Africana research collection which includes extensive holdings of monographs, periodicals, ephemera, pamphlets, videos, sound recordings, maps, conference papers, and newspapers.
Bolus Herbarium Library (Library map: Upper Campus plan)
Housed in the H.W.Pearson Building in the Department of Biological Sciences, the library contains a comprehensive collection of modern literature relating to systematic and evolutionary botany, plant ecology, ecophysiology and conservation ecology (much of it in a South African context), as well as numerous international journals focusing on these specific topics.
Built Environment Library (BEL) (Library map: Upper Campus plan)
Situated in the Centlivres Building on Upper Campus this Library houses materials on architecture, planning, and construction economics & management.
Circulation (Loans Desk) (Library map: COL Main and Upper Levels)
Our busy Loans Desk is located on the main level of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, close to the Library Entrance.
The Digitisation Unit is situated on Level 6 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library. This unit is responsible for the Libraries’ digitisation projects and hosts UCT’s digital repository of research publications, digital collections, and masters’ and doctoral theses.
Government Publications (Library map: COL Main and Upper Levels)
The Government Publications Department, on the Main Level (level 4) of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, houses both current and historical government documents, including census, legislation, parliamentary, planning, policy, public finance, and statistical materials.
Health Sciences Library (Library map: Health Sciences Campus plan)
Located on UCT’s Medical Campus, the Health Sciences Library serves the health professionals, researchers, and students of the Universities’ Health Sciences Faculty and associated teaching hospitals.
Hiddingh Hall Library (Library map: Hiddingh Campus plan)
Located in Hiddingh Hall on UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, this was UCT’s original library. It is now the Branch Library which serves the Departments of Fine Art, History of Art, and Drama.
Institute of Child Health Library (ICH)
Situated in the School of Child & Adolescent Health in the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Rondebosch, this library serves the medical students, interns, registrars, and consultants working at the Hospital.
Interlibrary Loans (ILL) (Library map: COL Main and Upper Levels)
Situated on Level 4 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library, this department provides access for our users to materials held in other southern African libraries and beyond.
Jewish Studies Library (Library map: Upper Campus plan)
The Jewish Studies Library in the Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies on Upper Campus, houses collections of Hebrew and Yiddish materials, as well as other resources documenting Jewish culture and history.
Knowledge Commons (KC) (Library map: COL Main and Upper Levels)
The KC is the Library’s undergraduate research facility. It provides well-equipped computer workstations, a wealth of electronic resources, and assistance from professional librarians. It is situated to the right of the entrance to the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.
Law Library (Library map: Middle Campus plan)
The Brand van Zyl Law Library is located in the Kramer Law Building on Middle Campus. It houses collections of South African, foreign, international, and comparative legal materials.
Manuscripts & Archives (Library map: COL Levels 1-3)
The Manuscripts and Archives Department is located in the African Studies Library, which is in the Research Wing of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library. It houses extensive collections of original research material relating to the political, social, cultural, and economic history of the Western Cape.
Music Library (Library map: Middle Campus plan)
The WH Bell Music Library on Middle Campus serves South African College of Music and the UCT School of Dance. It houses books, journals, scores, and audiovisual materials.
Rare Books (Library map: COL Levels 1-3)
Containing some of the Libraries’ most rare and valuable treasures within a number of unique book and journal collections, this Department is situated on Level 1 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.
The Research Commons is a scholarly common room equipped with advanced IT facilities and comfortable workspace for UCT’s researchers and senior postgraduate students. It is situated on Level 6 of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library and is accessed by stairs or lift in the Research Wing.
Short Loans Centre (Library map: COL Main and Upper Levels)
Catering for the needs of the Upper Campus undergraduate population, this department facilitates access to heavily-used materials. It is situated on the Main Level (level 4) of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.
Special Collections (Library map: COL Levels 1-3)
UCT Libraries Special Collections is comprised of four sections: the African Studies Collection, Manuscripts & Archives, Rare Books, and Government Publications. These sections are located on Levels 1 to 4 of the Research Wing of the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library.
Library Hours – Terms
Library Hours – Long Vacation Hours
The opening hours in the table below are observed during the long mid-year and year-end vacations.
Term hours come into effect during the academic terms and the short mid-term vacations.
24 Hour study areas – When the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library is closed, the Hlanganani 24/7 study area will be open.
|Library/Section||Mondays – Fridays||Saturdays|
|African Studies Collections||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Bolus Herbarium||10h00 – 12h00||CLOSED|
|Built Environment||08h30 – 13h00; 14h00 – 17h00||CLOSED|
|Chancellor Oppenheimer||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Government Publications||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Health Sciences||08h30 – 17h00||08h30 – 12h30|
|Hiddingh Hall||08h30 – 17h00||CLOSED|
|Inst. of Child Health||09h00 – 13h00; 14h00 – 17h00||CLOSED|
|Interlibrary Loans||08h30 – 17h00||CLOSED|
|Knowledge Commons||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Law||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h00|
|Library Learning Lounge||CLOSED||CLOSED|
|Loans Desk||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Manuscripts & Archives||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Rare Books||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Research Commons||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Short Loans Centre||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|Special Collections||08h30 – 17h00||09h00 – 12h30|
|UCT Libraries||Telephone: +27 21 650-3703|
|University of Cape Town||Fax: +27 21 650-2965|
|Private Bag X3||e-Mail: Libraries@uct.ac.za|
|Rondebosch 7701 South Africa|
|Access Services (Loans, ILL, Short Loans)|
Manager: Niel Mostert
|021 650 3119||021 689 7569|
Finance Manager: Mignon van der Merwe
|021 650 3099||021 650 2965|
Manager: Caroline Dean
|021 650 3701||021 650 2044|
|African Studies Collections & Rare Books|
|021 650 4089||021 650 2965|
|Bolus Herbarium Library|
Senior Library Assistant: Awot Gebregziabher
|021 650 3774||021 650 4041|
|Buildings & Services|
Senior Building Supervisor: Blythe Edwins
|021 650 3129|
Building Supervisors’ Office
|021 650 3109||021 650 2965|
|Built Environment Library|
|021 650 2370|
Acting Branch Librarian: Dianne Steele
|021 650 5953|
|Cataloguing & Metadata|
Manager: Mandy Noble
|021 650 3110||021 685 1734|
|Circulation — see Loans Desk|
|Commerce Information Services|
General Enquiries: Susanne Noll
|021 650 3115||021 650 4476|
|Digital Integration Services|
Librarian: Heather Hodgson
|021 650 3994||021 650 2044|
|Digitisation & Digital Services|
Manager: Niklas Zimmer
|021 650 1273021 650 2957||021 650 1276|
|021 650 3392|
Digital Curation Officer: Kayleigh Roos
|Document Centre: Campus Copy & Print||021 650 4813/5|
|General Enquiries||021 650 3134||021 650 2965|
|Government Publications Department|
|021 650 3177||021 650 2965|
Senior Librarian: Laureen Rushby
|021 650 4686|
|Health Sciences Library|
|021 406 6388||021 448 2579|
Manager: Saskia Vonk
|021 406 6359|
|Hiddingh Hall Library|
|021 650 7135|
Branch Librarian: Solvej Vorster
|021 650 7139|
|Humanities Information Services|
Manager: Alex D’Angelo
|021 650 4475||021 650 2965|
|Information Desk||021 650 3703/4||021 650 2965|
|Institute of Child Health Library|
|021 658 5353|
|021 650 3113||021 689 2981|
Librarian: Anita Visser
|021 650 4118|
|Jewish Studies Library|
Librarian: Glynnis Johnson
|021 650 5944|
|021 650 4313||021 650 2965|
|021 650 2708/9||021 650 2965|
Manager: Sadiq Keraan
|021 650 2671|
|Library and Information Studies Centre|
|021 650 4546||021 650 2965|
Head of Department: A/Professor Jaya Raju
|021 650 3091|
|021 650 3100||021 650 2965|
|021 650 3097|
Executive Director: Gwenda Thomas
|021 650 3096|
Deputy Director (User Services): Reggie Raju
|021 650 5827|
Deputy Director (Technical Services): Dale Peters
|021 650 5932|
|021 650 3118/20||021 689 7569|
Manager: Niel Mostert
|021 650 3119|
|Manuscripts & Archives Department|
|021 650 4089||021 686 1505|
Manager: Renate Meyer
|021 650 4424|
|021 650 2624|
Senior Librarian: Brandon Adams
|021 650 4294|
|Photocopiers: Campus Copy & Print||021 650 4813/5|
|Reception||021 650 3870||021 650 2965|
|021 650-4473||021 650 2965|
|Science & Technology Information Services|
General Enquiries Dianne Steele
General Enquiries: Gcobisa Xalabile
|Short Loans Centre|
|021 650 3117||021 689 7569|
Manager: Niel Mostert
|021 650 3119|
|Special Collections Information Services|
Manager: Renate Meyer
|021 650 4424||021 686 1505|
|Subscriptions & e-Resources|
|Subscriptions Librarian: Jeremiah Pietersen||021 650 3132||021 650 2044|
|Undergraduate Support Services|
Manager: Nuroo Davids
|021 650 5305||021 650 2965|