Fonds BC720 - Adele Naude Papers

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Adele Naude Papers


  • undated (Creation)

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ca.100 items

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Biographical history

Adèle Naudé was born Aletta Adèle Wollheim on 14 August 1910. Her parents were Henri Jacques Guilaume da Fonseca Wollheim (born 1873) and Maria Johanna Justina Watney. Her siblings were Oscar David da Fonseca Wollheim, a liberal political and social welfare activist, William John Watney Wollheim, a businessman, and Louis Botha Wollheim, a businessman. Having been born in the Bushveld, Adèle Naudé arrived in Cape Town at the age of three months and spent her girlhood in a government house on the Groote Schuur estate in Cape Town of which her father was the manager for twenty years. Her memories of her youth are recorded in her book Rondebosch and Round About (David Phillip, Claremont, 1973). She was educated at Rustenberg Girls’ High School and attained a BA degree at the University of Cape Town. Adèle Naudé was a poet, having published four collections, and a writer, having published six other works of non-fiction. Some of her non-fiction works reflect wide-ranging historical research into the lives and times of her own ancestors and forebears, particularly those of the Da Fonseca Wollheim, Hopley, Watney, Duckitt, Barry and Blanckenberg families. In this regard it may be noted that Adèle Naudé’s paternal grandfather, Oscar David da Fonseca Wollheim, married Maria Aletta “Mimi” Hopley, who was a daughter of William Musgrove Hopley. The lives of the Hopley family are a key theme in her book Cape Album (Howard Timmins Publishers, Cape Town, 1979), which also gives an overall picture of life in Cape Town and surroundings in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Adèle Naudé also edited the women’s pages of several journals such as Naweek and Spotlight, reviewed many books and did broadcasting. She served as Secretary of South African P E N Centre (Cape Town). Adèle Naudé had an interest in social concerns and was involved in the work of the Cape Flats Distress Association. She was also interested in gardening and advised on landscaping. Her interests included music and the arts and she served on the Council of the Friends of the South African National Gallery. Adèle Naudé was married to D F Hugo Naudé, a well-known Cape Town architect (1905-1967) and nephew of the artist (Pieter) Hugo Naudé (1869-1941). One of Adèle Naudé’s books relates to the life and work of the artist. They had one daughter, Adèle-Marie Naudé dos Santos, who became a professor of Architecture at Havard University and dean of MIT School of Architecture. Adèle Naudé died in 1981.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Scope and content

The Adèle Naudé Papers occupy four archival boxes and comprise the following series:

Series A: Personal papers

This series contains mainly news clippings relating to Adèle Naudé, the death of and obituaries about her husband Hugo Naudé, and their daughter Adèle-Marie Naudé dos Santos. There is a single letter of condolence and Adèle Naudé’s acknowledgement.

Series B: Research and writing

This series forms the largest part of the collection. It reflects wide-ranging historical research carried out by Adèle Naudé into the lives and times of her forebears in the form of notes, extracts, correspondence, family trees and photographs, as well as drafts and typescripts of her book Cape Album and various shorter pieces and radio talks. A typescript of a travel book, Mediterranean Mosaic, is also included.

Series C: Photographs

This series contains photographs relating to Adèle Naudé’s immediate family, herself and her husband, as well as photographs taken during their travels, and also historical illustrations used in her book Rondebosch and Round About.


The papers of Adèle Naudé’s brother, O D Wollheim, are in the custody of the Manuscripts & Archives Department of UCT Libraries (BC 627). They contain correspondence regarding the estate of Adèle Naudé, (1968-1984) (ref S4).

Data provided by the National English Literary Museum to the data base Africa-Wide Information hosted by EBSCOhost reflects various letters written by Adèle Naudé to other authors in collections of their papers in the custody of NELM, as well as references to many of her individual poems published in various journals.

From file B12
Z M Orton and M E Thomson: History of Rustenburg School 1894-1954 (Cape Town, 1954).
Quarterly Bulletin of the South African Library, Vol. 12, No. 2, December 1957 (Issue on Sir John Hershel at the Cape, 1834-38).
F J Wagener (ed.): Rondebosch Down the Years 1657-1957 (Rondebosch, 1957).
From file B9
Programme of Leslie French’s productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Maynardville Shakespearian Open Air Theatre by René Ahrenson and Cecilia Sonnenberg entitled Maynardville 1955-1964, which contains a history of Mayvardville (Cape Town, 1964).


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No restrictions apply

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  • English

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  • English



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