n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - The early years of a Dutch publisher in South Africa : a case study of Van Schaik in Pretoria

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491



Print culture came to South Africa with the Dutch East India Company, followed by the British colonisers. This influence persisted after colonisation officially ended, with the Union of South Africa in 1910. Many early publishers and booksellers were immigrants, especially Dutch immigrants. While the settlers were Dutch, many lent their support to Afrikaner nationalist causes. This article considers the implications of the colonial influence for the development of South African print culture, using a case study of Van Schaik Publishers, which was founded by a Dutch Immigrant, JL van Schaik, in 1914. Attention is paid to the question of how this early publisher saw its role in developing an 'imagined community' that engaged both with the culture of the coloniser and that of the developing settler colony. It is argued that Van Schaik played a significant role in the development of Afrikaans publishing, but little scholarly attention has been paid to his publishing philosophy and strategy.

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