ALSA enlarges the Antarctic book collection at Stellenbosch University’s JS Gericke Library with a second donation

  Henriëtte Swart, Acting Senior Director, JS Gericke Library accepts an Antarctic book from Patrick Morant

A donation of books received recently by the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa from Patrick Morant was handed over to the JS Gericke Library at Stellenbosch University in a small function on Wednesday last week.  This is the second collection donated to the university’s library through ALSA; the first donation, by Bianca Lawrence, was made in November last year (click here).

Patrick Morant, a retired CSIR scientist who has worked in the marine field, has for a long time been collecting books on Antarctica which after reading he passed on to long-time friend and colleague John Cooper, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa project’s Principal Investigator.  Following Bianca’s donation, John and Patrick agreed that Pat’s books should also be part of the Antarctic collection housed by the J S Gericke Library.

ALSA’s John Cooper, Ria Olivier and Anche Louw accompanied Patrick Morant to meet with senior library personnel to mark the function.  Present and expressing enthusiasm for the donation were Henriëtte Swart, Acting Senior Director; Ilse de Lange, Director: Technical Services & E-resources Management; Delene Pretorius, Deputy Director: Academic Services; Marié Theron, Science Librarian and Mimi Seyffert, Divisional Head: Digital Scholarship.

From left: Ria Olivier, Dalene Pretorius, Marié Theron, Patrick Morant and John Cooper along with the 29 donated books

The 29 books donated by Patrick Morant include a number on the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration at the start of the 20th Century, a valuable resource for polar historians.  Some of their evocative  titles are Antarctic Odyssey; Antarctica Unveiled; In Shackleton’s Footsteps; A First Rate Tragedy; Shackleton’s Way; End of the Earth; Antarctic Isle; Antarctica Impressions; The Shackleton Voyages; Fourteen Men; The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning; Aurora Australis; Nimrod; The Longest Winter; Slicing the Silence; Dumont d’Urville; The Quest for Frank Wild and An Empire of Ice.  Also included is Mrs Chippy’s Last Expedition, the remarkable journal of Shackleton’s polar-bound cat on the Endurance.

ALSA also took advantage of the occasion to donate copies of its latest two publications, Katjagter, an Afrikaans novel set on South Africa’s sub-Antarctic Marion Island by Erika Nortje of the university’s Centre for Invasion Biology  and Pain forms the Character: Doc Bester, Cat Hunters & Sealers compiled and edited by Nico de Bruyn and Chris Oosthuizen of the University of Pretoria’s Mammal Research Institute.  A signed copy of Doc Bester has also been donated to the Library’s Africana collection.

A signed copy of “Pain Forms the Character” with the ALSA Antarctic Collection bookplate destined for the Africana section

ALSA’s first book, Brian Huntley’s diary of his Marion Island sojourn in 1965/66 was published last year.

Further offers of Antarctic (and sub-Antarctic) books for the university collection will be gratefully received, e-mail us on

Ria Olivier & John Cooper, Antarctic Legacy of South Africa,  Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, 18 May 2017

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