22nd April 2021
Taylor & Francis supports the University of Cape Town after fire disaster: Scholars to have seamless digital access beyond holdings to entire collection
Taylor & Francis is shocked by the devastation caused by the fire that raged across Table Mountain in Cape Town, destroying part of the University of Cape Town (UCT), especially its historic Jagger Reading Room, which contained irreplaceable archives. Everyone at Taylor & Francis is relieved that team members in its Cape Town office as well as UCT students and staff are safe and offers its strong support.
Taylor & Francis, in collaboration with scholarly partners, including research publishers NISC and UNISA Press, will be making all digital materials (journals, journal archives and more than 150,000 eBooks), regardless of previous holdings, available to students and staff at UCT for a minimum of one year at no cost to UCT.
Taylor & Francis senior management and local Cape Town colleagues have been in touch with UCT to offer quick assistance and have expressed heartfelt support and encouragement for other volunteering/fundraising activities for UCT and the community. These activities are being set up immediately in coordination with UCT contacts and colleagues in Cape Town and elsewhere. Taylor & Francis will also be liaising with international publishing associations, including the Publishing Association of South Africa, to participate in further measures designed to ensure that students and scholars at UCT have digital access to the resources they need.
While no level of donation can compensate for the loss, we hope that our contribution will help to support a swift and significant resumption of research and teaching activities at UCT. We recognize the invaluable role that UCT plays in the South African, African, and global knowledge context.
“The motivation to help was immediate at all levels of the company,” said Nitasha Devasar, Vice President and Commercial Lead India, South Asia and Africa at Taylor & Francis. “After ensuring the safety of our staff in Cape Town and expressing solidarity with colleagues and contacts at UCT, our first priority is to assure digital access and to support research continuity during a disaster of this magnitude which is further complicated by the pandemic.”