What is SAPPHIRE?
As a major employer in twentieth century Scottish industry, whose importance has been widely acknowledged, the print and publishing industry has a social, economic and cultural history which has been little researched and documented. The SAPPHIRE initiative has been set up as the first sustained attempt to fill this gap within that knowledge of the industry. Over a period of nine years, the project has developed a substantial oral history archive and database. It has documented aspects of the working lives of people who were employed in the industry, had connections with it, and were involved in instituting the large changes that took place within it. SAPPHIRE is creating a permanent archive and database deposited in the Edward Clark Collection, a major collection relating to printing, publishing and print media at Napier University.
SAPPHIRE has been created as a collaborative initiative developed in partnership with a range of educational, professional and non-commercial organisations concerned with preserving the social, economic and cultural history of the men and women who worked in the print and publishing industries. In addition to the archival collection, SAPPHIRE is providing material for a series of initiatives to benefit Scottish heritage and educational communities, such as research projects, a series of short publications, books, an exhibition on Thomas Nelson and Sons in Edinburgh in 2001 and an exhibition on Papermaking on the Water of Leith in 2004.