History Department


Principal Museum Scientist
and Head of Department

Hannes Haasbroek is a National Museum Staff Member in the History department

Hannes J. Haasbroek  PhD    history [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za

Hannes Haasbroek, born in Bothaville, Free State, completed his schooling in Bethelehem. He obtained the degrees BA, BA Hons, MA (History), D Phil (History) and HED from the University of the Orange Free State. In 1979 he was appointed Head of the History Department at the Museum. Since 1984 he has served on the Editorial Committee of Culna, the Museum's popular magazine, and in 1992 he became Editor of the Museum’s accredited scientific journal Navorsinge van die Nasionale Museum - a duty he fulfilled until 2009. He has published many historical articles in scientific journals, magazines and newspapers. In 2002 his discovery of the actual founding place of the African National Congress (ANC) in Bloemfontein made headlines. His book on the life of the well-known dramatic soprano Cecilia Wessels, Stem en legende, was published in 2005.  This was followed by two more books 'n Seun soos Bram - 'n Portret van Bram Fischer en sy ma Ella in 2011 and  Splinters en Dorings uit die Rosestad se verlede in 2015.

Principal Museum Scientist

Marianna Botes is a National Museum Staff Member in the History department

Marianna Botes  PhD    mbotes [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za

Marianna Botes was born in Pretoria and completed her school career at the Oranje High School for Girls in Bloemfontein. She obtained the degrees BA (1980), BA Hons. (1982) and MA (Cultural History) (1993), as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Museology (1981) at the University of Pretoria. She completed her PhD in History at the University of the Free State in 2014 and was awarded The Protea Boekhuis prize by the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns in 2015 for her thesis Bloemfontein gedurende die bewind van president F.W. Reitz, 1889-1895: n kultuurhistoriese studie, for the best  doctoral thesis (History) in Afrikaans. She 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 Museum. She concentrates on research on the architectural and cultural heritage of Bloemfontein and the Free State and is involved in the conservation of building structures and heritage sites in Bloemfontein and the Free State. She has published many articles in scientific journals, magazines and newspapers and is co-author of two books about the architecture of the Free Sate namely Boukunsskatte van die Vrystaat and Vrystaatse argitektuur - Histories-argitektoniese ontwikkeling van die Vrystaatse boukuns: n oorsig. She also serves as Council Member of Heritage Free State (the Provincial Heritage Resources Agency or PHRA).

Senior Museum Scientist

Derek du Bruyn is a National Museum Staff Member in the History department

Derek du Bruyn MA    derek [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za

Derek 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 [dot] pudumo [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za 

Khotso 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.