Humanities Library At Your Service

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This is the presentation that has been put together for First Year Orientation for our Humanities students.       We think it is cool! 

Things That Go Bump In The Night At UCT

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Halloween is almost upon us, so we wondered if things go bump in the night  at UCT.   A while ago,  one Humreffer had a conversation with someone from residences,  and we came up with the idea of a ghost walk on campus and through the residences.     In the spirit of Halloween, we are not looking for rational explanations but just want to keep in the Halloween spirit.  

There are stories in the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library of staff who have passed on, but who have not left the building.   And no, these are not the dead librarians in the basement of the library, as some of the Humreffers like to tell people!        And reports about strange occurences and unexplained noises in the staff area of the Health Sciences Library which is right next to the morgue.   One of our colleagues had a close encounter last week!           

In her book “Haunted Corners:  South Africa’s Own Ghost Stories”, Margaret Williamson tells of the haunting of Strubenholm,  home to the College of Music.  These stories include a malevolent man whose legs taper off at the knees, a reputed suicide  and dogs sensing an unseen presence.   There is a story about Professor Chisholm’s Doberman, Roy, who would never go into Room 13 which was were the ghost had been seen, while  another version  said the dog would not go up the main staircase.        And then there is the story about the organ that was heard  to play by itself  and grand piano lids closing by themselves and windows opening and shutting on their own.        

And then of course, there is the Little Theatre at Hiddingh Hall.    Strange things are reported to happen.    Mysterious piano  music at the Arena Theatre;   A ghostly performer who may be an actress who was supposed to have died in the green room,  or it may be the ghost of a scenery painter named Cecil.

We’ve also heard that Groote Schuur Residence has a few ghosts, including one little old lady in a wheelchair who roams the men’s corridor.       Woolsack is also reputed to be haunted by the original architect of the university, who committed suicide there.

And what about the Graduate School of Business?  Given that the building was previously  the Breakwater Prison, surely there are still souls wandering round?   There is a story that people working through the night hear rattling on the first floor.  

 So who is up for a ghost walk?

 If we have missed any stories,   please let us know in the comments field.    

Spooky South African tales in the library:-

828.9685 ROSE     BA 823.91 ROSE    Rosenthal, Eric.       They walk in the night : true South African ghost stories and tales of the supernormal. --    Johannesburg : Dassie Books, 1951.

133 DUP  BA 133 DUP  Du Plessis, Izak David, 1900-1981     Goëlery / I.D. du Plessis. --    Kaapstad : Nasionale Pers, 1941

 98.2096805 HOPK  BA 398.2 HOPK  Hopkins, Pat, 1954-   Ghosts of South Africa / Pat Hopkins. --    Cape Town : Zebra Press, 2006.

 BA 133.1 HALL  Hall, Sian.     Haunted / Sian Hall. --    Newlands [South Africa] : Ampersand Press, 2011.

BA 398.2 DUPL   Du Plessis, Izak David, 1900-1981      Poltergeists of the south / [by] I.D. Du Plessis. --    Cape Town, H. Timmins, 1966.

RR 398.2096805 GOLD  BA 398.2 GOLD  Goldstuck, Arthur.     The ghost that closed down the town : the story of the haunting of South Africa / Arthur Goldstuck. --    Johannesburg : Penguin Books, 2006.

BDJ 968 MARS   Marsh, Rob.     South Africa weird and wonderful / Rob Marsh. --    Cape Town : Tafelberg, 2003.

 And then ask for these via Interlibrary Loans or  check your  local public library shelves:-  

Haunted corners : ... South Africa ̕s own ghost stories / Margaret Williamson.  Parklands [South Africa] : Ad. Donker, c1993.  

Where mystery dwells : a psychiatrist studies psychical phenomena / B.J.F. Laubscher ; preface John D. Pearce-Higgins.   Cambridge [England] : J. Clarke, 1972.

Uitgesoekte goelstories / I.D. du Plessis.  [Kaapstad] : Tafelberg, 1980.

Beloit College Mindset List - Dirty Harry, Who Is That?

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Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.     Most of these students were born in 1992. 

The Mindset List was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. The Mindset List website at, the Mediasite webcast and its Facebook page receive more than 400,000 hits annually.

Some of the items on the list:

Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.

DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.


Easter Bunny @ UCT Libraries

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The Easter Bunny (aka Alex) visited the Chancellor Oppenheimer Library to draw names out of the hat for the Easter egg draw.    There were 22 chocolate eggs in the draw ranging from small ones to large bunnies. 

These were the happy recipients:

Ridhaa Hartley

Fawzi Mazanderani

Kirk Ruiters

Mano  (no surname given)

Hilda Phatswana

Taahira Adams

Ebrahim Kader

Matthew Cilliers

Chris de Vos

Kavita Teekluckdhary

Nyarai Mulambo*

Shabir Ismail*

Asanda Mdatani*

Basson Ackermann*

Jon Dixon*

Ubaydullah*  (no surname given)

P. Gandabhai*

Daniel Gray*

Ntombehle Mngomezulu*

Malope Mogwaneng*

Darryl Godley*

  (* Those students who weren't present for the draw, have been phoned or emailed and need to collect their winnings today or by Tuesday latest.) 

 Photos to follow on Tuesday.... 

Evolution Of The Book

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How the book has changed .... 


For Fun! For Lovers Of Jane Austen (Or There Again, Maybe Not ... )

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"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Never was this truth more plain than during the recent attacks at Netherfield Park, in which a household of eighteen was slaughtered and consumed by a horde of the living dead."

Huh?  What?   New in the library is " Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance -- Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem -Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. "    The book is in RR collection at RR 813.6 GRAH but is probably out.   So here's Chapter One.   

When the book arrived, and was put out on display,  a Humblogger was heard to say: “Actually, I have a rather nasty feeling about this. The English First Years write on Pride and Prejudice in a day or two, and any who have not read the thing will be desperately skimming whatever they can get their hands on. Best not to imagine some of the exam answers ..." 










For Fun! Graph Of The Composition Of A Research Paper

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Your Humbloggers came across this -  we needed some light relief LaughingDoes any of this seem familiar?



From GraphJam  -

Easter Bunny In The Library

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The Easter Bunny came to visit, leaving a trail of tokens scattered around the library which could be exchanged for Easter eggs at the Humanities Reference Desk.   He also left a basketful of easter eggs at the loans desk for a lucky draw.  

As the Real Easter Bunny is away, out of the country,  the Easter Bunny's Locum stepped in to do the honours this afternoon with the draw.     (photos will follow)

Winners are in the process of being notified, if they weren't present at the draw.  The loans desk will hold on to the unclaimed eggs until the end of next week, after which they will probably be appropriated (= eaten) by library staff!    Innocent  

Winners are:-

Tsungai Mudekunye , Shane Smith, Gershwin Scheepers, Sheila Afri, Priscilla Rowswell, Kundi Dembetembe, Dadisa Tanderera, Loren du Preez, Larissa Brijlal, Tarryn Carolus, Nkhosinati Hlatshwayo, Busisiwe Miya, Lara Sierra-Rubia, Jesse Suisang-How, Siphokazi Melamane,and Alexis Neumann.

Thanks to the Humanities Library Staff for donating the Easter eggs!






Read Your Way Around The World (Global Voices)

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Spotted on Global Voices and a challenge that the Humbloggers in Humanities will try to take up - and in turn, challenge our readers, to Read Your Way Around the World.

In celebration of World Book Day  (23rd April), Global Voices has challenged its readers, contributors and bloggers everywhere, to read a book during the next month from a country whose literature they have never read anything of before,  and to write a blog post about it during the week of April 23.

Watch for a display of some titles in the Humanities Library during April.

Looking for the World Book Day poster?  Here's a link to the pdf from the UNESCO site.

And The Winner Is ...

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The winner of the Ipod is Wendy Williams.   Congratulations and Enjoy!

Thanks to all who entered.

S A Library Week Competition For Students - Win An Ipod!

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UCT students ― enter our S.A. Library Week Competition and stand to win a fantastic iPod!


Just answer this easy question:
Which  four GALE databases does
UCT Libraries subscribe to?

Need a little help?  Click here ...

Rules: Answers on a sheet of paper, together with your name, student number, and email address--to be dropped off at the Loans Desk (Chancellor Oppenheimer or any Branch Library) by closing time, Friday 20 March 2009.  One entry per student.  The draw will take place on Monday 23 March 2009 at 4.30 pm.   Click here for an entry form.


Our thanks to
Gale Cengage Learning
for donating the iPod for this competition.

What Kind Of An Information Technology User Are You?

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 Take the quiz in the Pew Internet Project's Typology of Information and Communication Users. 


Pride And Prejudice Told Through Facebook Status Updates

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Your Humblog Librarians couldn't resist sharing this one ...   

25 Librarians Who Changed History

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Another link that your Humanities Librarians couldn't resist posting ...   25 Famous Librarians who changed History.  

Did you know that Casanova was a librarian? 


Librarians In Film Or "18 Sexy Trips To The Library Stacks"

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Spotted on a number of library blogs to which the Humanities Reference staff subscribe,  was this link to Entertainment Weekly's photo feature on Librarians/libraries in film. - called "18 Sexy trips to the Library Stacks"

Among the 18 films featured are Atonement, The Breakfast Club,  The Mummy, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Philadelphia and the Day after Tomorrow.