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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.


A lively sketch of some Capetonians by

Alexey Vysheslavtsev,

Our latest publication is the following:

'An Entirely Different World': Russian Visitors to the Cape 1797-1870

Edited by Boris Gorelik

ISBN 978–0–9814264-6-4


2015 Annual Volume

Although the volume has been posted on 9th November to those local members who have paid their annual subs, we are still not sure when the AGM and launch will be held. Please be patient - we will let you know in plenty of time.

2015 PaarlMedia Visit

Seven of our members saw the presses rolling at our printers and watched our 2015 volume in the making! To read about it, go to the Activities page. 'An Entirely Different World': Russian Visitors to the Cape 1797-1870 is nearly ready for posting - you'll be getting your copy by the beginning of November. As soon as it goes out, you will be able to read all about it here.

New office hours - Please Note!

From 1st October 2015, there will be a change in the opening hours of the VRS office, as follows: From that date we will be open on Mondays from 9.30 to 13.30 and on Wednesdays from 9.30 to 12.30. However, e-mail and phone queries will be handled promptly and books dispatched as usual.

Book Price Increase

It has been a very long time since we have had increases in the prices of our back volumes - and the time has come when we have had to raise them. For details, see Order a publication. There are still some volumes which we are willing to see at R50 each (see the bottom of this page) but we have had to add postage since the recent horrendous increases in postages.

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 2014

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

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 (within South Africa) – as many copies as you like and as long as stocks last! Contact the VRS office to place your orders at vanriebk@mweb.co.za or 021 423 8424 (Mondays, and Wednesdays 9.30 to 13.30 or leave a message when no one is in the office). Unfortunately I shall have to charge you postage since the horrendous rise in postal charges in April 2015.