+27 51 447 9609
36 Aliwal Street
Bloemfontein, South Africa



History of the Free State

The History Department aims to do active research on the history of the Free State, including cultural, oral, social and political history.


Retired Judge from London visits Museum

Retired judge from London visits Museum

12 January 2017
Nick Stadlen (middle), retired judge from London and research fellow at Oxford University, visited the Museum while doing research for his book on struggle court cases. Dr Hannes Haasbroek (right) and Derek du Bruyn provided information on Bram Fischer. Hannes wrote a book on Fischer ’n Seun soos Bram, published in 2010.

Marianna Botes receives prize for best doctoral thesis (History) in Afrikaans

Marianna Botes prys

30 October 2015
The Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns introduced a prize to encourage post-graduate students in History to produce theses in Afrikaans and to reward high quality work. The prize is known as the Protea Boekhuisprys and is sponsored by this publisher. Dr Marianna Botes, Cultural Historian at the Museum, was the first recipient of this prestigious prize for her PhD thesis: Bloemfontein gedurende die bewind van president F.W. Reitz, 1889-1895: ʼn kultuurhistoriese studie.

In the photo from left: Prof. Wessel Pienaar, Chairperson of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, Dr Marianna Botes and Dr Nicol Stassen, owner and managing director of Protea Boekhuis publishers.

Marianna started her career at the Free State Museum Services in 1982 and since 1987 has been a researcher and cultural historian in the Department of History at the National Museum. She is the co-author of two books about the architecture of the Free State namely Boukunsskatte van die Vrystaat, and Vrystaatse argitektuur – Histories-argitektoniese ontwikkeling van die Vrystaatse boukuns: ‘n oorsig. Marianna has also published 16 articles in scientific journals and 26 articles popular journals, mainly in Culna, the annual magazine of the National Museum.

Historian publishes new book

Splinters en Dorings

29 October 2015
Hannes Haasbroek, Head of the History Department at the National Museum, published his third book based on facts and/or important historical figures with some connection to Bloemfontein. This book, Splinters en Dorings uit die Rosstad se verlede (SUN MeDIA-publishers, Bloemfontein, 2015) contains a collection of factual historical stories written over a period of time, and many of which have been published in Culna, the annual magazine of the National Museum. It is illustrated with photographs, mostly from the Museum’s own collection.

Hannes also wrote a book on the life of the well known soprano Cecilia Wessels, Stem en Legende (published in 2005) and ‘n Seun soos Bram (published in 2011) on the life of the advocate and anti-apartheid activist Bram Fischer.

New permanent exhibition on Batho

Batho 46 (HOUSE with washing, Msimamg Str. 608 - 2009 Elsa)

11 March 2013
An exciting new development at the National Museum is the new permanent exhibition on Batho that is currently being built in the Museum. The Museum launched the Batho Community History Project in 2007 to collect the history of Batho by means of the oral history method. Apart from collecting, researching and writing the history of Batho from the perspective of its residents, another main objective of the Batho Project is the mounting of an exhibition on Batho’s history.

The ideal of putting up a world-class display received a welcome boost when the Batho Project was selected as a beneficiary of Flemish government funding in 2012. For a period of two years (2012-2014) the Batho Project will receive funding from The Power of Stories Project, which is a Flemish funding project that aims to develop the culture of storytelling and oral history in developing countries. The funding will be used mainly to incorporate state-of- the-art multimedia hardware and equipment into the display. The objective is to offer visitors an exciting interactive museum experience.

For more details, please contact Derek du Bruyn @ derek@nasmus.co.za.


Senior Museum Scientist

Derek du Bruyn MA derek@nasmus.co.za

Derek-Du-BruynDerek du Bruyn hails from Brandfort in the Free State. After matriculating in 1986, he studied at the University of the Free State and obtained a BA degree majoring in History (1990), a BA Hons degree in History (1991) and in 1995 an MA degree in History (cum laude). In 1997 he obtained a National Higher Diploma in Archival Science from the then Technikon South Africa (now amalgamated with the University of South Africa (UNISA)).

He was employed for 13 years (1993-2007) as an Archivist at the Free State Provincial Archives in Bloemfontein. He specialised in records management and later managed the Bloemfontein Records Centre. Derek also became involved in oral history and spearheaded the Archives’ oral history projects, including The Military and Stalwart Veterans Oral History Project. He also launched the Free State Oral History Association and served as Chairperson until 2007.

In 2007 Derek was appointed as Historian at the Museum, specialising in oral history and community history. He launched the Batho Community History Project and is currently the project leader.

Oral History Assistant

Khotso Pudumo BA Hons khotso.pudumo@nasmus.co.za

Khotso PudumoKhotso grew up in Mangaung and matriculated from Navalsig High School. He obtained his B.A. in 2011 at the University of the Free-State, followed by a B.A. Honours in History in 2013. During this time he worked as an academic assistant in the Department of History at the University of the Free-State. Khotso then completed a graduate internship at the office of the Free State Premier from April 2015 to March 2016. As a Research Assistant at the Museum he will focus on the Oral History of Batho Township. His interests include religion, reading, writing, interacting with people, baking and travelling.

  • The mission of the Department is to conduct research on the history of Bloemfontein/Mangaung and the Free State, as well as on the Museum's Cultural History Collection.
  • Research is an important part of the Department’s function and therefore many hours are spent in archives and libraries gathering information. This research material is used for the writing and publishing of articles in scientific journals or in popular magazines and newspapers.
  • The National Museum is the only institution in the Free State, and for that matter in South Africa, where research is specifically being done on the history of Bloemfontein/Mangaung and the Province. This research also transcends all cultural boundaries, ensuring that the past is unlocked for all South Africans.

Research projects currently in progress

Bloemfontein during the reign of President F.W. Reitz, 1889-1895: a cultural history study (M. Botes)

The history of Batho, Mangaung, 1918-1948

  • Batho's gardens and gardening culture (D. du Bruyn)
  • Batho's street names (P. Letsatsi)
  • Batho's architecture (D. du Bruyn)

The British occupation of Bloemfontein, 13 March-3 May 1900 (D. du Bruyn)

Splinters en dorings uit die Rosestad se verlede (H. Haasbroek)

Die ontstaan van die unieke ondergrondse Reservoir-galery by Oliewenhuis-kunsmuseum in Bloemfontein, 1994-2002 (H. Haasbroek)

Research - History of Bloemfontein and the Free State
  • Bloemfontein during the reign of President F.W. Reitz, 1889 - 1895: a cultural history study
  • The history of Batho, Mangaung, 1918 - 1948

Bloemfontein, 1904 | © Free State Archives

Research - Historical Buildings
  • The restoration of the corrugated iron residence at the Florisbad Research Station
  • The appearance of gardens during the period 1890-1910 and the re-planning of the garden at the Freshford House Museum


Research - Oral History

What is oral history?

NM Photo Batho 291 (Batho CHP Brochure) resampled

In recent years history has become a more inclusive discipline, exploring new sources and directions. One example of this trend is the emphasis on oral history as a source for researching and writing history. Oral history is essentially spoken history. An interview situation typically consists of an interviewer interviewing an interviewee or narrator. The interview is usually recorded by means of a tape recorder, digital voice recorder or video camera. The recording is then transcribed into text. During the past decade oral history as either an independent discipline and/or a method has gained considerable ground in South African historical circles.

The Batho Community History Project

During 2007 the National Museum launched the Batho Community History Project as a community-based oral history project. Aimed at collecting and researching the social, cultural and political history of Bloemfontein’s oldest existing township by means of oral history, this project has not only become an initiative to collect historical information, but also an effort to contribute to the well-being of the Batho community.

Publications - Scientific Articles


C.H. Wessels se omstrede aanstelling en dienstyd as tweede administrateur van die Oranje-Vrystaat, 1915-1924, Historia, 33(1), Mei 1988.

Cecilia Wessels (1895-1970), die ‘stem’ van Suid-Afrika, SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis, 4(3), 1990.

Wessels vs. Wessels: Die omstrede Bethlehem-tussenverkiesing van 1914, Joernaal vir Eietydse Geskiedenis, 2(15), Okt. 1990.

A.E.W. Ramsbottom, eerste administrateur van die Oranje-Vrystaat, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 8(2), Maart 1992.

Ella Fischer – ‘n veelsydige gemeenskapsleier (1894-1964), Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 8(5), Junie 1992.

Die 1912-onderwyskrisis in die Oranje-Vrystaat, SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis, 7(2), 1993.

J.E. Harrison, argitek en eerste bewoner van Freshford, en sy gesin se lewe in Bloemfontein (1895-1902), Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 9(7), Aug. 1993. (mede-outeur saam met M. Briedenhann)

Freshford-huismuseum: Die struktuurondersoek van die huis in 1984, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 9(10), Sept. 1993. (mede-outeur saam met M. Briedenhann)

Die Pres. Steyn-gedenkfonds (1923-1957), Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 9(12), Okt. 1993.

E.R. Grobler, administrateur van die Oranje-Vrystaat, 1924-1929, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 10(14), Nov. 1994.

Die Prins van Wallis se besoek aan Bloemfontein in Mei 1925, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 11(7), Sept. 1995.

Die besoek van prins George aan Bloemfontein in Februarie 1934, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 12(3), Julie 1996.

Die stryd teen pokke in die distrik Boshof, 1882-1884, Historia, 41(2), Nov. 1996.

Die probleme en polemiek rondom die bou van ‘n nuwe stadhuis vir Bloemfontein, 1928-1936, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 12(9), Des. 1996.

Die sosiale en vermaaklikheidslewe van die swart inwoners van Waaihoek, Bloemfontein, tydens die Oranjerivierkolonie-tydperk (1900-1910), Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 13(4), Sept. 1997.

Rolskaatsbane in Bloemfontein 1909-1910, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 14(2), Junie 1998.

Die kortstondige bestaan van die Empire-teater in Bloemfontein, Maart-Junie 1905, SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis, 12(2), Nov.1998.

Die verhouding tussen die swart inwoners en die Stadsraad van Bloemfontein gedurende die Oranjerivierkolonie-tydperk, 1902-1910, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 15(1), Maart 1999.

Die rol van Henry Selby Msimang in Bloemfontein, 1917-1922, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 16(3), Julie 2000.

Die Britse koningsbesoek aan Bloemfontein, Maart 1947, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 16(8), Des. 2000.

Die tragiese lewe van die eksentrieke en legendariese sir Etienne de Villiers (1875-1947) van Bloemfontein, SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis, 15(2), Nov. 2001.

Die ontstaan van die eerste bioskoop (1922) vir die swart gemeenskap van Bloemfontein, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 17(6), Nov. 2001.

Founding venue of the African National Congress (1912): Wesleyan school, Fort Street, Waaihoek, Bloemfontein, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 18(7), Nov. 2002.

The Native Advisory Board of Bloemfontein, 1913-1923, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 19(4), July 2003.

Die rol van dr. B.O. Kellner in Bloemfontein, 1863-1918, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 20(4), Nov. 2004.

The indabas between the black community and the local authority of Bloemfontein, 1913-1914, Journal for Comtemporary History, 30(2), Sept. 2005.

Die rol van Wolf Ehrlich in Bloemfontein 1877-1915, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 22(3), Julie 2006.

Die swemgeskiedenis van Bloemfontein, SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis, 21(1), Junie 2007.

Die gebeure wat gelei het to die bedanking van die Bloemfonteinse stadsraad in 1907, Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein, 23(2), April 2007.

Die laaste 60 dae van Bram Fischer, Joernaal vir Eietydse Geskiedenis, 33(3), Des. 2008.

Rebelle-ambulanskorps vir die Vrystaat, 1914. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 25(4): 109-126. 2009.

Nakie Smit (1845-1947) – Goewernante van die bekende en welaf Fichardt-familie van Bloemfontein. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis  24 (2): 37-53. 2010.

Die Fischer-woning en swembad in Beaumontstraat 12, Johannesburg: Simbool van rasseharmonie in apartheid-Suid-Afrika. Journal for Contemporary History 36(1): 175-190. 2011.

"An absolute pillar of strength for her husband and the struggle": Molly Fischer (1908-1964) - wife, mother and struggle activist. New Contree - A journal of historical and human sciences for Southern Africa 65:87-110. 2012.

Die rol van Charles (Charlie) Gustav Fichardt in Bloemfontein 1891-1923. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 28(4): 49-83. 2012.


Die rol van die Engelse gemeenskap in die Oranje-Vrystaat, 1848-1859, Memoirs van die nasionale Museum, vol. 15, Des. 1980. (M.A.-verhandeling)

Die rol van Cornelis Hermanus Wessels in die Oranje-Vrystaat, 1885-1924, Memoirs van die Nasionale Museum, nr. 23, Des. 1987. (D.Phil.-proefskrif)

Stem en legende – die lewe van Cecilia Wessels. Pretoria: Litera Publikasies, 2005.

'n Seun soos Bram - 'n Portret van Bram Fischer en sy ma Ella. Kaapstad: Umuzi-uitgewers, 2011.

D. du Bruyn

Du Bruyn, D. & Oelofse, M. 2012. The potential and possibilities of oral history for skills development at undergraduate level, Yesterday & Today, 7, July 2012, pp. 121-138.

Du Bruyn, D. 2011. ‘Township Topiary’: the history of the English-style gardens of Batho, Mangaung (1846-1948), Navorsinge van die NasionaleMuseum Bloemfontein, 27(3): 37-82.

Du Bruyn, D. & Wessels, A. 2010. Swart protes versus wit teenstand: die politiek van regse blanke vrese, 1982-1987, Journal for Contemporary History, 35(1): 99-122.

Du Bruyn, D. 2010. Oral testimonies as a source of community history, with special reference to the Batho project, Bloemfontein, South African Journal of Cultural History, 24(2):1-24.

Du Bruyn, D. & Wessels, A.  2009. Op weg na die politieke draaipunt van 1948: drie eeue van vrees as faktor in die geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika, Journal for Contemporary History, 34(2): 62-85.

Du Bruyn, D. & Wessels, A. 2009. Vrees as faktor in die regse blanke politiek in Suid-Afrika: die tweede fase van die era van volwaardige regse politieke partye, 1976-1982, Journal for ContemporaryHistory, 34(3): 91-110.

Du Bruyn, D. & Wessels, A. 2008. Vrees as faktor in die regse blanke politiek in Suid-Afrika: Die eerste fase van die era van volwaardige regse politieke partye, 1969-1975, Journal for Contemporary History, 33 (3).

Du Bruyn, D. & Wessels, A. 2008. Vrees as faktor in die regse blanke politiek in Suid-Afrika tydens die tweede dekade van die apartheidsera, 1958-1969, Journal for Contemporary History, 33 (1).

Du Bruyn, D. & Wessels, A. 2007. Vrees as faktor in die regse blanke politiek in Suid-Afrika tydens die eerste dekade van die apartheidsera, 1948-1958, Journal for Contemporary History, 32 (2).

Oelofse, M. & Du Bruyn, D. 2005. A critical evaluation of memory as a potential source of evidence for oral history, Journal for Contemporary History, 30 (2).  

Oelofse, M. & Du Bruyn, D. 2004. The importance of oral history in a transforming South Africa, Journal for Contemporary History, 29 (1).

S. Marianna Botes

Die viering van Onafhanklikheidsdag (Republiekdag) in die Oranje-Vrystaat 1854-1900. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 3(2), April 1989.

Die Ou Goewermentsgebou in Bloemfontein: van regeringskantore tot letterkundige museum. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 5(4), Oktober 1991.

Die Residensie: woning van die Britse Resident in Bloemfontein, 1846-1854. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 9(14), November 1993.

Die Derde Presidensie in Bloemfontein: ampswoning van die Vrystaatse staatspresidente. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 8(1), 1994.

Die Eerste Presidensie in Bloemfontein, 1854-1861: 'n kultuurhistoriese studie. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 10(3), Maart 1994.

President M.W. Pretorius en die oprigting van die Tweede Presidensie in Bloemfontein, 1861-1863. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 10(10), Augustus 1994.

Die Tweede Presidensie tydens die verblyf van president J.H. Brand, 1864-1886. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 11(9), November 1995.

Die oprigting van die Derde Presidensie in Bloemfontein, 1885-1886. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 12(7), November 1996.

Die Derde Presidensie, Bloemfontein, gedurende die verblyf van president J.H. Brand, 1886-1888. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 13(5), Oktober 1997.

Sosiale lewe in Bloemfontein se Derde Presidensie, 1886-1900. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 12(1), Mei 1998.

Fort Drury: Van Bloemfontein se eerste fort tot moderne kantoorblokke, 1846-1998. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 14(7), Desember 1998.

Die soektog na Fort Drury, Bloemfontein: probleme en resultate. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 13(2), November 1999.

Die Derde Presidensie, Bloemfontein, gedurende die verblyf van president F.W. Reitz, 1889-1895. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 15(4), Desember 1999.

Die Derde Presidensie, Bloemfontein, tydens die verblyf van president M.T. Steyn, 1896-1900. Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein 16(7), November 2000.

Die stoommeule en bierbrouery op die terrein van Fort Drury, Bloemfontein, 1868-1920. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 15(2), November 2001.

Laat-Victoriaanse invloed op die interieur-inrigting van twee van Bloemfontein se bekendste wonings, 1880-1900. SA Tydskrif vir Kultuurgeskiedenis 17(1), Junie 2003.


K. Schoeman, Boukunsskatte van die Vrystaat. (Research by S.M. Botes and C.J.O. Groenewald). CUM-Books, 1985.

S.M. Botes, P.J. Nienaber and J.D. Smit: Vrystaatse argitektuur. Histories-argitektoniese ontwikkeling van die Vrystaatse boukuns: 'n oorsig. NALN Foundation, 1987.

Publications - Popular Articles


Holmes se skepper het vuurdoop in SA gehad, “Bylae” Die Volksblad, 28 Aug. 1982.

Die ossewa – bokwa, transportwa of kakebeenwa, Opvoeding en Kultuur, 5(2), Sept. 1982.

C.H. Wessels – Vrystaatse ‘landsvader’, Lantern, Okt. 1987.

Delwersmoleste op Benaaudheidsfontein en Olifantsfontein, Lantern, Mei 1989.

Cornelis Wessels (1851-1924) – Kampvegter vir boerderybelange in OVS, Jaarverslag en jaarkongresvan die Vrystaatse Landbou-uniekongres1989.

Philip Louter Wessels – “Sneaking hypocrite”, Kleio, XXII, 1990.

‘n Straattoneel in ou-Bloemfontein, Lantern, Okt. 1990.

Ella Fischer – ‘n Moedige romanskrywer van die dertigerjare, Lantern, 42(3), 1993.

The English community of early Bloemfontein. Brosjure: Nasionale Posseëluitstalling  9-12 OKT 1996.

Fischer, Ella Cecil, New Distionary of South African Biography, vol. 2, 1999.

Wedywering het Boere-saak skade berokken, Die Volksblad, 20 Julie 2000.

Wedywering het die Boere-saak skade berokken, in ABO 100 – Ons lesers vertel. Deel 1. 2001.

Swart gehore moes lank op hul eie bioskoop wag, Volksblad, 17 September 2002.

Dié saaltjie die ware stigtingsplek van die ANC – Mapikela-huis as ontstaanplek net ‘n mite, Volksblad, 23 Desember 2002.

Geskiedkundige Raadsaal 110 jaar oud, Volksblad, 5 Junie 2003.

Bloemfontein neem die voortou, Volksblad, 6 Januarie 2004.

VS-nagtegaal in boek herdenk, Volksblad, 4 Augustus 2005.

Bloemfontein het reeds sowat 100 jaar gelede probleme in die stadsraad gehad, Volklsblad, 1 Oktober 2005.

Skool het baanbrekerswerk gedoen, Ons Stad, 28 Junie 2007.

Artur Nathan-swembad ‘n eeu oud, Ons Stad, 27 September 2007.

Die stryd om Bram Fischer se vrylating, Volksblad (By), 10 November 2007.

Wat het Bram Fischer en Jackie Selebi moontlik gemeen, Volksblad (By), 26 Januarie 2008.

Mnr. Duff se stoel is nie vakant nie, Ons Stad, 20 Maart 2008.

Bram Fischer 100 jaar gelede gebore, Ons Stad, 17 April 2008

Bloemfontein in die 60’s midde-in bikini-oorlog, Ons Stad, 15 Mei 2008.

Terug op die spore van Bram Fischer, Volksblad (By), 31 Mei 2008.

Die advokaat se vrou, Rooi Rose, Julie 2008.

Bram Fischer het nie sy Afrikanerskap verloën nie, Woord en Daad, 401/402, Somer 2008.

Niemand kan neutraal teenoor die lewe van Bram Fischer staan nie, Volksblad, 29 Desember 2008.

Huis van Liefde, Volksblad/Beeld/Die Burger (By), 24 Januarie 2009.

Articles in Culna - Magazine of the National Museum, Bloemfontein (previously Nasionale Museum Nuus/News)

Kellnerstraat 31 [nr. 17, Okt. 1979].

23 Februarie 1854 – Oranje-Vrystaat aan boere op skinkbord geskenk [nr. 18, April 1980].

“Ou Waenhuis” [nr. 20, April, 1981].

Oranje-Vrystaatse vlag en wapen 125 jaar oud [nr. 22, April 1982].

Rachel Isabella Steyn [nr. 23. Okt. 1982].

Die 0s – Getroue trekdier [nr. 24, April 1983].

Vanmelewe se “Woest Rijden” in Bloemfontein [nr. 26, April 1984].

Die era van die transportryer [nr. 29, Sept. 1985].

Die Nasionale Museum – “Een weelde-artikel en geen noodzakelikheid” [nr. 34, April 1988].

Protokol-flater op Bloemfontein-stasie [nr. 35, Okt. 1988].

Grondspekulasie voer die botoon in die Oranjerivier-Soewereiniteit [nr. 36, April 1989].

“Mr. Duff’s seat is not vacant” [nr. 37, Okt. 1989].

Louter Wessels – “”Vanity without limit” [nr. 38, April 1990].

“Geld der schande” [nr. 40, April 1990].

“Short, back and sides” [nr. 42, April 1992].

Bloemfonteinse 1930-moordsaak gekenmerk deur uitsonderlike foto’s [nr. 44, April 1993].

Die ‘skoolgeld-skandaal’ van 1913-14 [nr. 46, April 1994].

Cecilia Wessels – From Kwaggafontein to a legend [nr. 47, Sept. 1994].

Redaksioneel – Museums is nie rariteitswinkels nie [nr. 48, April 1995].

“Tails or no tails” – ‘n Prins in Bloemfontein [nr. 49, Sept. 1995].

Fumigasiehuise vs. pokke [nr. 50, April 1996].

Maselspoort, o Maselspoort: ‘n Opelugdans vir prins George [nr. 51, 1996].

Freshford-huis (1897) – 100 jaar! [nr. 52, Sept. 1997].

Thomas Mtobi Mapikela – Vrystaatse leiersfiguur van nasionale aansien [nr. 53, Mei 1998].

H. Selby Msimang – Kampvegter vir swart belange in Bloemfontein 1915-1922 [nr. 54, Junie 1999].

“The Waaihoek tea party” - £1 boete of 14 dae hardepad [nr. 55, Julie 2000].

Sir Etienne de Villiers – Eksentrieke en ‘legendariese’ inwoner van Bloemfontein [nr. 56, Sept. 2001].

Koning George VI van Brittanje en sy gesin se besoek aan Bloemfontein (1947) [nr. 57, Des. 2002].

Die Adviserende Naturelleraad 1913-1923: Baanbrekerswerk in Bloemfontein [nr. 58. Nov. 2003].

Editorial: The National Museum & 10 years of democracy [nr. 59, Nov. 2004].

Dr. B.O. Kellner en die “Injurie-Zaak” van 1877 [nr. 60, Nov. 2005].

Wolff Ehrlich – Voorstryder van Joodse belange in Bloemfontein [nr. 61, Nov. 2006].

Die stryd om gemengde baaiery in Bloemfontein [nr. 62, Nov. 2007].

Bram Fischer en ‘n seun soos Paul [nr. 63, Nov. 2008].

D. du Bruyn

The Batho Community History Project, Culna, 63, November 2008.

Voices of the past: The National Museum’s oral history projects, Culna, 62, November 2007.

S. Marianna Botes

Die Trudie Kestell-modesaal. Nasionale Museum Nuus (Tydskrif van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein) no. 33, September 1987.

Presidensie-staaltjies. Nasionale Museum Nuus no. 34, April 1988.

Always coffee on the President's stove. Nasionale Museum Nuus no. 35, Oktober 1988.

Volksraadslid op Markplein "verbrand" Nasionale Museum Nuus no. 36, April 1989.

"Bloemfontein knocked out of Bloom" - Hewige haelstorm in Bloemfontein 101 jaar gelede. Nasionale Museum Nuus no. 37, Oktober 1989.

Heildronk-moles in Eerste Raadsaal, 1854. CULNA (Tydskrif van die Nasionale Museum, Bloemfontein)no. 38, April 1990.

Geheimsinnigheid omhul eerste huis in Bloemfontein. CULNA no. 46, April 1994.

Bekende Vrystaatse plekname in die spervuur. CULNA no. 47, September 1994.

Restourasie van die historiese sinkhuisie op Florisbad. CULNA no. 48, April 1995.

Die geur van nektar en rose. CULNA  no. 49, September 1995.

'n Emmervol wortels vir twee sjielings - Bloemfontein se mark. CULNA no. 50, April 1996.

Outentieke middeleeuse harnas in die Nasionale Museum uitgestal! CULNA no. 51, September 1996.

"At home or not at home" - Visitekaartjies en besoekers. CULNA no. 52, September 1997.

Rose, laventel en pietersielie - Freshford-huismuseum se nuwe Laat-Victoriaanse periodetuin. CULNAno. 53, Mei 1998.

Bloemfontein verloor twee bekende stadsbakens: Fort Drury en King's Court. CULNA no. 54, Junie1999.

Om mooi te lyk en lekker te ruik. CULNA no. 55, Julie 2000.

Kersvreugde. CULNA no. 56, September 2001.

Die geklop van perdepote... Perdewedrenne en renbane in Bloemfontein. CULNA no. 57, Desember 2002.

Oliewenhuis - van ampswoning tot kunsmuseum. CULNA no. 58, November 2003.

'n Naval Hill in Bloemfontein? CULNA no. 59, November 2004.

Miskoekvastrap: Bloemfontein se oudste gebou kry nuwe vloer. CULNA no. 60, November 2005.

Die Vrystaat se oranje choo-choo. CULNA no. 61, November 2006.

Hoe ry die poskar hop-hop so. CULNA no. 62, November 2007.

Bloemfontein se beroemde (of berugte?) Wit Perd. CULNA no. 63, November 2008.

Mooi tuine was kenmerkend van ou Bloemfontein. Bloemfontein 150. Bylae tot Die Volksblad28/03/1996.

Bewaring van Presidensie nou belangriker as ooit. Die Volksblad8/05/2002.

Freshford House Museum

31 Kellner Street, Westdene

FreshfordFreshford House Museum is one of the few houses of the upper middle class of the Edwardian Period that still exists in Bloemfontein. The house was designed and built by the architect John Edwin Harrison for himself and his wife, Kate Caroline. Born and trained in England, Harrison immigrated to South Africa in 1894 and a few years later entered into a partnership with the architect W.H. Stucke.

Freshford House was completed in 1897, i.e. during a transition between the Late Victorian and Edwardian periods. The house, with its asymmetrical facade, unplastered red brick walls, bay windows, veranda with carved wood and corrugated iron roof with cast-iron finishes, is a typical example of a residence during this period in Bloemfontein.

The house was acquired by the National Museum in 1982 and restored to its original form. The Freshford House Museum was opened to the public in 1986.  A Late Victorian Period garden was laid out on the site to complement the house.

Download the official brochure here.


Monday to Friday

10:00am – 1:00pm

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

Entrance fees

R10.00 (adults)
R5.00 (children)
Special group tours can be arranged.


Tel: +27 51 447 9609

Museum Officer

Aphavia Limo

Aphavia Limo

First Raadsaal Museum

95 St George Street

The First Raadsaal, the oldest remaining building in Bloemfontein, is a satellite museum of the National Museum. The history of the establishment of the Free State is depicted here.

The British Resident, Major H.D. Warden, built this typical South African pioneer building in 1849. It was the first school building north of the Orange River; it served as a church until 1852; it was used by the Legislative Council of the Orange River Sovereignty and, from 1854, by the Republic of the Orange Free State as Assembly Hall and offices. When the Assembly moved to larger premises in 1856, the building reverted to its original use as a school until 1877.

The National Museum was founded in the First Raadsaal in 1877, where it was housed until 1915. To accommodate the growing Museum collections, a western wing was added in 1885 and an eastern wing in 1891. The western wing was demolished in 1970. The building was vacated in 1915 when the Museum moved to its present premises in Aliwal Street, and it was then used variously as a church, offices, a store room for locust poison and a recreation hall. It was proclaimed a National Monument in 1936.

The First Raadsaal was made available to the Museum by the Government in 1975 to be restored in its original historical context. The restored First Raadsaal Museum was opened to the public on 20 July 1977, exactly 100 years after the founding of the National Museum in the same building.

Download the official brochure here.


Monday to Friday

10:00am – 1:00pm

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day




Tel: +27 51 447 9609

Museum Officer

Izette Bredenkamp

Museum Officer

Pulane Mashiyi

Pulane Mashiyi

Wagon Museum

95 St George Street

wagon-museumThe Wagon Museum is situated on the same premises as the First Raadsaal Museum. It houses a collection of historical wagons and carriages, such as a spring wagon, Voortrekker ox wagon, transport wagon, stagecoach, mule wagon, spider and Cape cart. In the exhibition area are various panels depicting the development of transport through the ages and the making of a wagon wheel. There is also a display which focuses on the means of transport used by black people during the early 1900s.

Download the official brochure here.


Monday to Friday

10:00am – 1:00pm

Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day




Tel: +27 51 447 9609

Museum Officer

Izette Bredenkamp

Museum Officer

Pulane Mashiyi

Pulane Mashiyi

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