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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 Africana.


Our latest publication is the following:

The World's Great Question:
Olive Schreiner's South African Letters 1889 - 1920

Edited and Introduced by Liz Stanley and Andrea Salter

ISBN 978-0-9814264-5-7

A nice article from Die Burger ̵ not only about the Schreiner letters, but about the VRS in general. See this link: schreinerreview4.pdf

Postal Strike!

At present it seems as though the 2014 postal strike is a thing of the past. I have been sending clients and members tracking numbers of any parcels sent to them and it does look as though the books arrived safely. I shall continue to do this for new members' books as well as book orders and we will hope for the best that all goes well. Unfortunately, of course, there is no way I can send out tracking numbers for our mass posting of the annual volume but let's not worry about that till we get there!

Stop Press – 2014 volume – Launches

The Cape Town launch was 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, was introduced by editors Liz Stanley. The launch was preceded by the AGM of our Society at 14.15. See our Activities page for more detail about this and the Eastern Cape launches. And Elizabeth van Heyningen was asked to come to the 'Boekbedonnerd’ Fair VII in Richmond (Cape) from 23 – 25 October. She took some lovely photos - see our Activities page!

Book Fair 2014

Have a look at our Activities page for a report!

Visit to PaarlMedia

Again, have a look on our Activities page for some lovely pictures!

VRS hands out prizes to best student bloggers at UWC

The award of Prizes for the best blog on the Atlantic slave trade to a group of HIS231 (second year) students.They were thrilled with their copies of Trials of Slavery.  Thank you to the VRS and to Tanya Barben who donated the books

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 Thursdays.

Gift Token

We 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 (R165 for membership; consult us about prices for books). We'll stamp it and forward it to the lucky recipient!

 Changed Banking Details

Our 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 2035


We 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 transfer (EFT).


We're now on Facebook!  Click on  to add your views and comments on this innovation

Extra-special offer 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 at vanriebk@mweb.co.za or 021 423 8424 (Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 9.30 to 13.30 or leave a message when no one is in the office).