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
publication is the following:
Hitherto Unknown: Ensign Beutler's Expedition to the Eastern
Translated by Thea Toussaint van Hove and Michael Wilson;
Edited and Introduced by Hazel Crampton,
Jeff Peires and Carl Vernon
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
Sharlene Naidoo, a third year Bachelor of Education student at
UKZN’s Edgewood campus, won the Van Riebeeck Society Book Prize for
the Best Final Year History Education undergraduate student in 2013.
See her photo and the full story by clicking on the link below:
Of Education Student Wins Van Riebeeck Society Book Prize
The Conference was held on 27th to 29th June in Gaborone this year. Several of
our council members attended and gave papers, including Prof Howard
Phillips. We had a table at the conference, sold 10 of our volumes
and gained one new member.
Prof Anton Ehlers staffing our table at
the SAHA conference in Gaborone
here is Prof Howard Phillips with Prof Sandra Swart, newly elected
president of SAHA and Mr Sylvester Dombo of UKZN who received the
prize of a VRS volume for the best student paper at the Gaborone
Southey (our Gauteng Council member) with
Professor Jane Carruthers of UNISA and (right) Professor Karen
Harris of Pretoria University and the VRS table and volumes in the
Adriaan Naude, first year History student at the University of
Pretoria, receiving our Xuma volume as a prize for the best History
essay from Dr Nisa Paleker, who made the presentation on our behalf
on 18th April 2013 at a function at the University for top
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
a "Phoenix Collection" to Stellenbosch
our Activities page.
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 Fridays 9.30 to 13.30
or leave a message when no one is in the office).