n Mousaion - Towards compiling an annotated bibliography of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission : trials and tribulations

Volume 31, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



When the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was established and began its work during the early part of 1995, with the intention of contributing to nation-building, it generated widespread interest from various quarters for a variety of reasons. While journalists wrote about the TRC's effects on South African society while it was in session, academics analysed different aspects of the TRC to gauge whether it produced important findings that were of relevance to the international community. As a result of their extensive and rich outputs in the popular media and in peer-reviewed journals, the TRC invariably attracted the attention of another set of interested individuals, namely bibliographers who had also witnessed the TRC proceedings unfolding. They, as stakeholders, realised that the TRC had gradually generated a vast body of knowledge that needed to be monitored and recorded in a useful compilation that would serve many local and international researchers, scholars and academics. Although by the beginning of 2000 a handful of these bibliographers had their works published on the Internet and in journals, none of them annotated their entries - with only one exception; in response to this glaring 'shortcoming', was prepared.

The purpose of this article is to reflect on the trials and tribulations of compiling, annotating and editing , which was published by the New York-based Nova Science at the end of 2009. The aim is to assess the bibliographical articles/compilations published and in progress by the end of 2008, and thereafter the argument is about why and how this bibliography differed from those that had been published or were in the process of being published. Apart from sharing thoughts about the decision-making process that pertained to the overall presentation of the bibliography, the author prefaces the discussion with a detailed reflection on the process of knowledge production - a process inextricably tied to the compilation and formatting of this bibliography.

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