The Neville Alexander Papers - a new manuscripts collection

22 Oct 2014 - 12:00
The Neville Alexander Papers - BC 1538
The Neville Alexander Papers - BC 1538

In celebration of Neville Alexander’s birthday today—​22 October—UCT Libraries: Special collections and Archives, is pleased to announce the inclusion of the Neville Alexander Papers (BC 1538) into our Manuscripts and Archives collections.

Quick facts:
•    It has taken manuscript archivist Andre Landman, 9 months to arrange and describe this collection.
•    End result of 240 archival boxes, each weighing approximately 3kg.   To get to this level several thousand kilograms of paper have been moved around and ordered over the last few months!
•    Approximately 2 cubic metres of material (see picture)  
•    Several thousand serial publications and unpublished articles (by scholars other than Neville Alexander) extracted for removal to the library holdings (about half of which have been indexed so far).

The Neville Alexander Papers affords researchers a glimpse into the mind and work of this multi-faceted, multi-talented, but single-minded man.  There are representations from his days as a student, his education at the universities of Cape Town and Tübingen, his radical and revolutionary activities on behalf of the struggle for liberation in South Africa and elsewhere, his imprisonment on Robben Island, and his life-long commitment to the transformative role of language, education – and language in education – in a liberated South Africa.  In a country still polarised along many axes, Neville Alexander’s intellect and humility are as needed as ever.  It is to be hoped that these papers will allow his voice to be heard in the on-going debate about language in post-Apartheid South Africa.