The clippings collection built up by the Southern Africa Labour & Development Research Unit (Saldru) in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town covers what is probably the most crucial quarter century in South Africa's history.
Started in the mid-1970s as a necessary tool to help social scientists and others to keep track of what was happening inside the country and in the wider region of Southern Africa, the collection grew daily as Saldru staff, student interns and visiting scholars helped to mark and clip a number (though not all) of the major English-language newspapers from around the country.
Cuttings were then sorted into some 89 main subject headings (from Africa & Agriculture to the World Bank & Zimbabwe) and filed in A-4 boxes in the Saldru library where they were consulted on a regular basis by scholars from all over the world and by students writing special assignments in economics, politics, sociology and other disciplines. The growing collection proved invaluable to everybody for it enabled researchers to trace events which had not been recorded in any other way.
The collection grew to over a million clippings---all pasted on sheets of scrap A-4 paper and filed.