Now it is possible to read the actual words spoken and written by a range of men and women from southern Africa’s past – whether immigrant or indigenous, slave or settler, missionary or military, explorer or exile – by joining Historical Publications Southern Africa (HiPSA).

Historical Publications Southern Africa (formerly 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 continued existence on its members, whose subscriptions finance the publications, and its editors who select and meticulously edit its volumes. Society publications have consequently achieved a high academic standard and out-of-print volumes have become valuable Africana.


An Electronic version of the very topical publication “In a Time of Plague”, edited by Howard Phillips, is now available.

To read the latest reviews of this publication click HERE

For more information about this publication click HERE


We are delighted to announce that the 2020 publication by HiPSA, Volume III-2 Sol T Plaatje: a life in letters, edited by Brian Willan and Sabata-mpho Mokae, has won the 2021 S.A. Literary Award in the category of Creative Non-Fiction ( ).

Both editors paid a special tribute to HiPSA, Sabata-mpho Mokae saying: “Thank you for your decision to publish the book and your support throughout the years when we were working on it”.  Brian Willan commented:  “I see the award also as a recognition of all the other books you have published over the years”. For more information about the publication click HERE

To purchase the volume, as a hard cover book or a digital version (eBook), please contact us by emailing Historical Publications Southern Africa at

Our most recent publications

Our most recent Softbound reprints

In 2006 we decided to begin reprinting volumes which have long been out of print. That they remain much sought-after is a tribute to the wisdom of the original decision by our predecessors in the VRS to print them. Please note that to distinguish these from the originals, the reprints are quite different in appearance – they are A5-sized paperbacks with light blue paper covers. In no way are they meant to compete with the originals. Their chief value lies in their content, which again becomes available to the public after many decades. If you wish to order a reprint, go to the Reprints page.

Special Offers to Members Only

In order to create space in our store room, we offer a number of back volumes at a reduced price of R130 plus packaging and postage to members in southern Africa. To consult the list click here.

In addition we have a number of second hand volumes for sale from time to time. To consult the list click here.

Why not join today and take advantage of this offer?