The documents in the J. J. Smith Collection (Ms 333) were donated to the SU Library and Information Service in 2000. A record of the J.J. Smith Collection is available in the library catalogue to make it more accessible.  This collection holds documents dating from 1883 to 1949 and consists of 88 pamphlet boxes containing correspondence; articles; photographs; manuscripts; notebooks; radio talks; speeches; personalia; newspaper clippings and more. Some of the notebooks contain interesting contributions to the language of children, students, old people, regional language, names of places, names of trees, animals, etc.

The focus of the documents is on the history, orthography and spelling of the Afrikaans language.

“J. J. Smith (1883-1949) became the first editor of the Afrikaans dictionary, (Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal), in 1926. He was an exceptional linguist who left a lasting impression on the history of Stellenbosch University, as well as the press in South Africa (Nasionale Pers). He was also the first professor in Afrikaans and Dutch at Stellenbosch University in 1919 and the first editor of the Afrikaans magazine, Die Huisgenoot”.

The collection is completely described, catalogued and indexed, and available to researchers. To gain access to the collection please visit Special Collections.

See more information in this article: BibNews August 2007.

Authors: Marieta Buys and Busi Mofu