The Van Riebeeck Society
was founded in 1918 with the purpose of making primary sources available in a readable and enjoyable form to
anyone interested in Southern African history. Since then a volume
has been published every year, with very rare exceptions. The
Society depends for its survival on its members, whose fees finance
the publications; and its editors, who have selected and edited the
volumes. Society publications have achieved a high academic standard
and out-of-print volumes have become valuable
Book Fair 2014
Have a look at our activities page for a
Visit to PaarlMedia
Again, have a look on our Activities
page for some lovely pictures!
Stop Press – 2014 volume – Launches
The Cape Town launch will be held in the
Kalk Bay Community Centre, 26 Main Road, St James at 15h30 on
Saturday, 9th August 2014 (Women's Day). And very suitable too,
since Olive Schreiner was a fiery protagonist of women's rights.
The book, The World's Great Question: Olive Schreiner's South
African Letters 1889–1920, will be introduced by editors Liz
Stanley and Andrea Salter. The launch will be preceded by the AGM of
our Society at 14.15 sharp. Here's the Community Centre
and there will be directions (and a map)
of how to get there in our latest newsletter (no. 45) which will be
sent out shortly!
But the exciting news is that there will be three Eastern Cape
launches!. The first one will be in Cradock at the Schreiner Karoo
Writers' Festival on 25th to 27th July. Liz Stanley and Andrea
Salter will be there as well as Howard Phillips – and a lot of
Next, at the Rhodes University Cory Library, Cornelius Thomas will
host a launch featuring council member Nick Southey and editor Liz
Stanley on 28th July, and the next evening, 29th July, Nick Southey
and Liz Stanley will be at the Bayworld Museum, Port Elizabeth, at a
launch hosted by Emile Badenhorst!
So you can take your pick!
This year we are
publishing as our annual volume the diary of Ensign August Friedrich
Beutler's exploratory overland journey to the Eastern Cape in 1752.
Its title is Into the Hitherto
Unknown (as Beutler's instructions put it) and it will
include the original Dutch text face-to-face with a lively,
first-time ever English translation (by Thea Toussaint van Hove and
the late Michael Wilson). The volume is introduced and edited by
Hazel Crampton and Jeff Peires who have added exhaustive footnotes
to elucidate the rich text which, inter alia, reveals a very
different situation on the ground in the pre-colonial Eastern Cape
to that currently presented by historians. In addition, Carl Vernon
has recalculated Beutler's route (the original compass readings
given by Beutler would have landed him in the middle of the Indian
Ocean!) and mapped the route accordingly in this volume. Portions of
the expedition's original colour map by Carel Wentzel are also
The Cape Town launches as well as the Eastern Cape ones, were
great successes! For story and pictures, see the
have our first review from Grocott's Mail - have a look at
And here's a good long one in the QB:
We have a
Mrs Emile Shreve
started with us on Wednesday 26th February. She will be coming into
the office every Wednesday all
the way from Somerset West to help with parcelling, receipting,
filing and other jobs. We are so happy to have her - and hope she
will be happy working for us. Welcome, Emile!
rates for 2014
increased our local SA members' subs by 10% to R165 per annum.
Student members will now pay R120 for their first two years of
membership and SADC country members will pay R200 per annum. The
foreign memberships will remain at £25, US$45 and €35.
New office hours
From February 10th 2014, the VRS Office in the Centre for the Book
will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (not
Fridays) from 9.30 to 13.30. Sandra Commerford will be on duty on
Mondays and Cora Ovens will be in the office on Wednesdays and
designed a gift token (to be used for either gift memberships or
volumes) a couple of years back. Exco decided it should be available
on the web - and here it is! With Christmas coming soon, what could
be a better gift than a membership or a favourite volume of one of
our books? Simply download the
gift token, complete it
and send to us with your payment (R150 for membership; consult us
about prices for books). We'll stamp it and forward it to the lucky
Standard Bank branch at Adderley Street has closed down (without
warning us). Our new banking details are: Standard Bank, current
account, Thibault Square, Branch code 02 0909, Account no 07 051
are happy to announce to our foreign members ONLY that we now have Paypal.
To pay your subs (of $45), simply click on the Subscribe button.
South African members pay, as usual, by cheque or direct bank
We're now on Facebook! Click on
to add your views and comments
on this innovation
for members only – rock-bottom prices!
In order to clear
some space in our store room, we have decided to make a special
offer to members only: you may order any of the back volumes
on the list at a price of R50 post
free (within South Africa) – as many copies as you like and as long as stocks last!
Contact Cora Ovens to place your orders
or 021 423 8424 (Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 9.30 to 13.30
or leave a message when no one is in the office).