History Department


People dancing in Batho
People dancing in the community hall, Batho, ca. 1950

  • 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)