Recent Activities

Recent Activities2022-10-03T16:01:44+00:00

University of Pretoria Faculty of Humanities – Award for the best History essay by First Year Student (May 2023)

As part of its wish to make HiPSA known to a new generation of historians, the society sponsored prizes of two HiPSA volumes for the best history essays by first-year students in the UP Department of Historical and Heritage Studies. Details of the awards held on 3 May 2023 are below. Congratulations to the two winners! We hope this [...]

ANNUAL REPORT 2022

HiPSA: ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2022 (Delivered by Professor Howard Phillips at HiPSA AGM, 17 November 2022)   This is what I will call a two-handed report as it is filled with plenty of ‘on the one hand, but on the other’. In many ways it has been a year of very mixed fortunes for HiPSA, several of them rather dispiriting. [...]

NEWSLETTER 59 (OCTOBER 2022)

AGM AND LAUNCH OF OUR 2022 VOLUME Our 103rd Annual General Meeting will be held virtually via Zoom at 18h00 (SA Time) on Thursday 17 November 2022. Please inform us by return of email if you wish to attend so we can send you the Zoom link on 14 November. As this AGM will include consideration of an amended constitution [...]

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Free State Arts Fertival October 2022

HiPSA Exco member Prof Chris van der Merwe is currently attending the Vrystaat/Free State Kunstefees/Arts Festival in Bloemfontein (2-8 October 2022). On display is our volume "Selections from the Letters of President M T Steyn 1904–1910"; edited by Con de Wet and Elizabeth van Heyningen; translated by Chris van der Merwe (VRS series II-48 (2017) - see [...]

SA SOCIETY FOR HISTORY TEACHING IN GENADENDAL

On 29 September 2022, our Chairman Prof Howard Phillips gave a keynote address to the South African Society for History Teaching in Genadendal (organised by Dr Francois Cleophas, a member of HiPSA's Council) on the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. The global pandemic reached deep into South Africa, including the village of Genadendal, and left its mark on it [...]

SA Historical Society Conference 2022

The South African Historical Society held its annual conference in East London on 28 - 30 June 2022. The conference was attended by the Chairman of HiPSA, Prof Howard Phillips who arranged a display of HiPSA publications. If you look carefully, you will see advance copies of our 2022 volume ICU ‘I See You’: The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union [...]

NEWSLETTER 58 – OCTOBER 2021

102nd AGM AND LAUNCH OF OUR 103rd VOLUME Continuing the Covid-prompted initiative last year, to hold our AGM online (which saw members from 3 continents and 4 time zones attending), our 2021 AGM will be held online via Zoom at 18h00 SA time on 17 November 2021. To attend, please inform us of your intention to do so and [...]

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2021 Annual Report

(Delivered online at HiPSA AGM, 17 November 2021) In the Western World it is popularly believed that the Mandarin word for crisis (weiqi) consists of two words combined, ‘wei’ meaning ‘disaster’ and ‘qi’ meaning opportunity. In other words, a crisis presents danger but also opportunity. However, Mandarin linguists disagree with this interpretation and label it wishful thinking among Westerners [...]

MINUTES OF THE 102nd ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (NOV 2021)

Minutes of the 102nd Annual General Meeting of Historical Publications Southern Africa (HiPSA), formerly the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents, held virtually on Zoom at 18h00 on Wednesday, 17 November 2021   Agenda Welcome, Zoom Protocol and Order of Proceedings Apologies Hail and farewell Minutes of 101st AGM 15 December 2020 Matters arising not [...]

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Pretoria University Award for the best History essay by a first year student – 2021

Historical Publications Southern Africa regularly donates some of our volumes to the History departments of various Universities as book prizes for deserving students. On 30 April 2021 the prize for the best History essay by a first-year student in the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies at the University of Pretoria was awarded to Ms Shemara Nalimuthu. The prize was [...]

Salvaging Historic Material at the Jagger Library

A wildfire that started on the slopes of Table Mountain on Sunday, 18 April 2021 swept across the upper campus of the University of Cape Town ravaging the Jagger library, which bore the brunt of the devastation. The University of Cape Town’s Jagger Reading Room was left in ruins. (Photo: Gallo Images / Die Burger / Jaco Marais) [...]

MINUTES OF THE 101ST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (DEC 2020)

Minutes of the 101st Annual General Meeting of Historical Publications Southern Africa - HiPSA (previously the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents - VRS) held online on Zoom at 18h00 on Tuesday 15th December 2020. Agenda 1. Welcome, Zoom Protocol and Order of Proceedings 2. Apologies 3. Hail and Farewell 4. Minutes of 100th [...]

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NEWSLETTER 57 – NOVEMBER 2020

Publishing in a pandemic period To pandemics HiPSA and the VRS before it are no strangers. Barely six weeks after the VRS’s foundation in August 1918, the new Society was in the midst of publishing its first volume (Reports of De Chavonnes and his Council, and of Van Imhoff, on the Cape, published by the VRS, 1918) when South [...]

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The Publication has “a striking and frightening immediacy during the time of Covid-19”

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic our Society's publication In a time of plague: Memories of the “Spanish” flu epidemic of 1918 in South Africa has become very topical. A substantial number of reviews of the publication, edited by Prof Howard Phillips, have recently appeared in journals and newspapers as well as on-line. The latest review by Elsabe Brits [...]

Launch of Indoda Ebisithanda (The Man Who Loved Us) at the Cory Library of Rhodes University

REPORT OBTAINED FROM RHODES UNIVERSITY WEBSITE (https://www.ru.ac.za/) Dr Shell presenting Dr Cornelius with a copy On 18 February 2020, the Cory Library hosted the launch of Indoda Ebisithanda (The Man Who Loved Us): The Reverend James Laing among the amaXhosa 1831-1836, edited by Dr Sandy Shell, Senior Research Associate at Cory Library. This volume was compiled from the journals [...]

2019 Annual Report

I regret to say that this has not been a good first year for HiPSA. Our paid-up membership has continued the decline in numbers which began in the 2010s, notwithstanding several imaginative initiatives to arrest this fall. Today we have 607 fully paid-up members, 45 fewer than a year ago. Another 154 are in ‘suspended animation’, not having paid [...]

2017 Annual Report

Whichever doctor said that when you reach the venerable age of 98, you should be taking things easy was clearly not thinking of the VRS, for the 98th year of our existence, which has just ended, has been a very active – almost hyperactive – year. Our administrators, Rolf Proske and Sandra Commerford, the six members of the Executive Committee, [...]

2018 Annual Report

2018 was a year marked by culmination and transformation. CULMINATION because we reached our century, celebrating this in a number of memorable ways: by organizing a UCT Summer School course, ‘Witnesses to South African history’, convened by Elizabeth van Heyningen, which shop-windowed the contribution to the writing of South Africa’s history by our publications; by publishing two volumes in [...]

Newsletter 56 – October 2019

AGM and LAUNCH OF 2019 VOLUME  Our AGM will be held at 17h30 on Wednesday 27 November 2019 at Ravenswood House, 110 Hatfield Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Directions and a map are provided below. For the use of this elegant venue we are once again indebted to the generosity of its owner and HiPSA member, Patrick Esnouf. At this AGM [...]

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Minutes of the 100th Annual General Meeting (Nov 2019)

Minutes of the 100th Annual General Meeting of Historical Publications Southern Africa - HiPSA (previously the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents - VRS) held at Ravenswood House, Hatfield Street, Cape Town at 17h30 on Wednesday 27th November 2019.   1. Welcome and apologies The Chair, Prof Howard Phillips, welcomed the members present, and explained [...]

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Eeufees

Die Vereniging het in Augustus 2018 honderd jaar oud geword. Sedert sy stigting in 1918 het dit feitlik elke jaar ʼn volume gepubliseer van oorspronklike Suid-Afrikaanse historiese dokumente, noukeurig geredigeer. Die strewe van die stigters was om deur die stigting ʼn besef tuis te bring van die historiese wortels van die eerste nuwe Suid-Afrika, die Unie van Suid-Afrika, wat in [...]

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Lecture on president Steyn volume during the Stellenbosch Woordfees

On 17 March 2018, in a somewhat cramped Protea bookshop on a hot Stellenbosch morning Francois Cleophas, Elizabeth van Heyningen, Chris van der Merwe and Con de Wet presented a thoroughly interesting talk on the 2017 volume, Selections from the Letters of President M.T. Steyn, 1904-1910. There was a small but very engaged audience present. A call to join the [...]

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Celebrations in Gauteng

The Society hosted a two-part celebration in Gauteng on 10 and 11 October 2018, in collaboration with our joint hosts, the History Departments of the University of Pretoria and the University of Johannesburg. Our guest of honour and keynote speaker at both gatherings was Professor Archie Dick, Head of the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria and [...]

Centenary|

Celebrations in Cape Town

A series of lectures under the title of "The Van Riebeeck Society and the making of Southern African History" was presented at the UCT Summer School during May 2018 in celebration of the Society's Centenary. For more information click here to go to the Activities Page. The Society held a two-part, two-venue celebration on 29 August 2018, exactly 100 [...]

Centenary|

Centenary

The Society turned 100 in August 2018. Since its inception in 1918, it has published one volume of meticulously edited original South African historical documents almost every year. It was established in 1918 because its founders sought to provide a sense of the historical roots of the first new South Africa created in 1910, the Union of South Africa. Now, [...]

Centenary|

Newsletter 55 – June 2019

99th AGM and launch of our 2018 volumes   The first AGM under our new name, HiPSA (formerly the VRS), was held on 31 January 2019 at the elegant Ravenswood House in central Cape Town, a venue generously made available to us by the owner, a stalwart member of our society, Patrick Esnouf, to whom we are most grateful. In [...]

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Minutes of the 99th Annual General Meeting (Jan 2019)

Minutes of the 99h Annual General Meeting of Historical Publications Southern Africa - HiPSA (previously the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents - VRS) held at Ravenswood House, Hatfield Street, Cape Town at 17h30 on Thursday 31st January 2019.   1. Welcome and apologies The Chair, Prof Howard Phillips, welcomed the members present, and noted [...]

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Newsletter 54 – November 2018

100 years old and rising On 29 August 2018 the VRS turned 100 years old and marked the attainment of this memorable milestone with a series of celebratory functions in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg. In the very same building (originally the South African Library and now the Cape Town campus of the National Library of South Africa) in [...]

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Newsletter 53 – March 2018

We enter the 100th year of our existence with a new name in the offing and several centenary activities already launched or soon to be launched, culminating in a grand centenary function in Cape Town on 29 August 2018. There is also the possibility of a similar function in Gauteng later in the year. Read on for more information!   [...]

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Minutes of the 98th Annual General Meeting (2017)

Minutes of the 98th Annual General Meeting of the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents (VRS) held at Ravenswood House, Hatfield Street, Gardens at 17h30 on Thursday 23rd November 2017. Welcome and apologies The Chair, Prof Howard Phillips, welcomed the members present. Apologies were recorded. As the Treasurer, Mr Danie de Villiers, was unwell, [...]

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Newsletter 52 – October 2017

We enter the 100th year of our existence with a new name in the offing and several centenary activities already launched or soon to be launched, culminating in a grand centenary function in Cape Town on 29 August 2018. There is also the possibility of a similar function in Gauteng later in the year. Read on for more information! RE-BRANDING [...]

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2017 AGM

The 98th AGM was a momentous occasion as the great majority of the members present, as well as others voting by proxy, decided that the time has come to change the name of the Van Riebeeck Society. The name was originally chosen as a compromise and an attempt at unifying the Dutch/Afrikaans and English groups in the country. The [...]

Recent Activities|

VRS Wins Prestigious Cultural Award

The VRS has won the prestigious Archives Advocacy Award for 2016-2017 presented annually by the Western Cape’s Department of Cultural Affairs. The citation for the award reads: "The Van Riebeeck Society, founded in 1918, has done a lot of good work over many years promoting archives by publishing transcribed primary sources. In this way, the society has made available archival [...]

Recent Activities|

Newsletter 51 – March 2017

Rise in subscriptions As you will know from the invoice you have received, we have been forced by the increased cost of printing to raise our annual subscription to R250 p.a. We apologise for this unavoidable increase. As in the past, payments can be made in cash paid at the office, by cheque or by means of electronic fund transfer [...]

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Minutes of the 97th Annual General Meeting (2016)

Minutes of the 97th Annual General Meeting of the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents (VRS) held at Ravenswood House, Hatfield Street, Gardens at 17h30 on Tuesday 6th December 2016. Agenda Welcome and apologies In Memoriam Confirmation of minutes of 96th AGM held on 28 January 2016 Matters arising from minutes Report of the Treasurer [...]

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Minutes of the 96th Annual General Meeting (2015)

Minutes of the 96th Annual General Meeting of the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents (VRS) held at Ravenswood House, Hatfield Street, Gardens at 17h30 on Thursday 28 January 2016. Agenda Welcome and apologies Condonation of delay in holding AGM In Memoriam Confirmation of minutes of 95th AGM held on 9 August 2014 Matters arising [...]

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Minutes of the 95th Annual General Meeting (2014)

Minutes of the 95th Annual General Meeting of the Van Riebeeck Society for the Publication of Southern African Historical Documents (VRS), be held at the Kalk Bay Community Centre, 26 Main Road, St James at 14h15 on Saturday 9th August 2014. Welcome and apologies The Chairman, Prof Howard Phillips, welcomed the 60 members present. Apologies were recorded (as per the [...]

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