Subfonds BC1011b - Dirk Bax Collection

Reference code

ZA UCT BC1011b


Dirk Bax Collection


  • n.d. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

ca.1850 items; 93 archive boxes (total for the whole collection, comprising two subfonds separately described in AtoM).

Name of creator


Biographical history

Professor Dirk Bax, LITT. DOCTS. (Amsterdam), LITT. D (Nijmegen), CORR, KON, NED. ACAD was born in Holland in 1906. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and obtained his doctor's degree at the University of Nymegen. He became head of the Department of Netherlands Cultural History at U.C.T. in 1950. He had published a number of books on Dutch Culture, and received medals of honour from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, and the Netherlands-South African Society. In 1967 he was awarded the Cape Tercentenary Foundation's award for his contribution to the conservation of the cultural heritage of the Cape. In 1969 he received the Order of "Officer in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau" for outstanding service in the promotion of Netherlands culture.

Professor Bax was mainly responsible for the rebuilding of Saasveld, the original home of the Baron van Rheede van Oudtshoorn, in Kloof Street. The house was moved and became a cultural landmark of the Cape at Franschhoek.

He was responsible for the publication of the new Michaelis Collection catalogue, the first really scientific and descriptive treatment of this collection.

Professor Bax died on 24 December 1976, at the age of 70.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This sub-collection was transferred to the University of Cape Town Libraries in 2000 by the National Library (Cape Town Campus) to which it had been bequeathed in the estate of Mrs Marie Bax Botha, widow of Professor Dirk Bax.

Scope and content

This collection of additional material serves to enrich the extensive collection of material already contained in the Bax Collection. While the additions contain some material on various artists and Dutch culture, they are rich in personal material from correspondence to travel journals and they highlight in particular the artist, Hieronymus Bosch, whose work Bax studied and interpreted extensively. Other points of interest are photographic portraits of Professor Bax and his wife Marie (nee Botha), collections of cuttings of articles by Prof Bax with some by Marie Bax and a collection of documents from Marie Bax herself including her manuscript for the translation of H.G. Nahuys van Burgst’s Adventures at the Cape of Good Hope in 1806. Also in the additions is the certificate for the honour of the Order of Orange-Nassau bestowed upon Prof Bax by the Queen of the Netherlands in recognition for his work in contribution to Netherlands culture.


System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

No restrictions apply

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Language of material

  • English

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  • English



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