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Children's Literature

The "Ballot-Kicherer collection" was rescued in the 1940s from an abandoned loft in Stellenbosch. It has been damaged by water, mould and pests, and considerable effort was invested at the time in its restoration; of an estimated 700 volumes, some 550 have survived. The books were originally collected by H. W. Ballot (1767-1814); J. J. Kircherer (1775-1825); and J. S. S. Ballot (1801-1868) and constitute an excellent if partial example of a Cape "gentleman’s library" from the period. There are 17th century Dutch texts, as well as a copy of a 1535 Dutch Bible, probably the oldest in South Africa. This work is extremely rare as it was originally suppressed and almost all copies were burned; the printer was executed for publishing it. For a detailed account of the collection’s history, see R. F. M. Immelman, The Ballot-Kicherer Collection in U.C.T. Libraries: the Cape's second-oldest book collection (Cape Town: University of Cape Town, 1982) [available for download here]. Books from this collection can be identified by the prefix BAL in front of the shelf number.