A valuable asset of the MCSA (Cape Town Section), the library is the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It contains over 2000 books (most of which are not available as e-books), DVDs, videos, magazines, and maps, as well as a complete set of all the MCSA journals, together with journals from other famous mountaineering clubs around the world. Catering for a wide range of members, the material covers mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking, walking, exploration, mountain rescue, wilderness medicine, mountaineering history, travel and adventure writing, and South African flora and fauna. (There are some travel guides donated by members, but these are not formally acquired because of the rapidity with which they date.) The library has a small annual budget for acquisitions.
If you would like to volunteer to help in the library, please contact the Honorary Librarian (details below).
The library is based upstairs at the Clubhouse, and is open to members during office hours (10h00 – 14h00 Monday to Friday) and for an hour before Friday evening socials and talks, when a library subcommittee member will be on duty to assist in finding books and reshelving. Members may borrow – by signing out – two books at a time for one month, and two DVDs for one week. The journals and items in the historical collection may not be removed from the library, but members are welcome to photograph the relevant articles they wish to read, or to read them in the library.
The books are shelved in the numerical order in which they were acquired, so to find a particular one that you’re looking for, you can use the old card index or the new electronic database, which has a search facility by author, title, or keywords. You can access and search the online library catalogue from the comfort of your home or on your cell phone.
Instructions for accessing and using the catalogue
Visit the link above on your computer, cellphone or tablet to open the catalogue. For easy offline access, you can download the spreadsheet to your device. Be sure to revisit the link on a regular basis to access the up-to-date version of the file.
The indices of MCSA Journal articles (1894 – 2019) can be accessed on the MCSA’s national website.
Although the library has a set of 1:50,000 maps for the Western Cape, they are there for consultation and may not be removed from the library. You may prefer to collect your own set, in which case, you can buy them from the Department of Rural Development – National Geo-spatial Information, Van der Sterr Building, 19 Rhodes Ave, Mowbray, Cape Town, 7925.
Phone: 021 658 4300
Kate McCallum, firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp 072 382 9372.
The Club archives are not part of the Library, but can be accessed at the UCT Special Collections.