Free State Provincial Archives Repository, Bloemfontein

Free State Provincial Archives Repository, Bloemfontein

29 Badenhorst Street, Universitas, Bloemfontein, 9301
Tel +27 (0)51 522-6762
Hours: Mon to Fri 8.00-16.00 and Saturdays, and over long weekends, 9:00 to 12:00
Website: see the National Archives entry
Digital photography is permitted subject to minor restrictions.

The Free State Archives originated around archiving the papers of important Free State political and civic leaders, which gives its manuscript collections a particular flavour. Public records are transferred to it in terms of archival legislation. Concerning non-public records, current emphasis is on the collection of documents regarding the black inhabitants of the Free State as a clear gap exists regarding this. Oral history interviews with black people who played significant roles in their communities are now also being added.

Core holdings include:

  • The family, personal and other papers of key Free State political, military and civil leaders
  • Master of the Supreme Court (Estate Files), 1839-1942;
  • Criminal and Civil Cases, Supreme Court, 1849- ;
  • Registrar of Deeds, 1841-1970;
  • Records of interest especially to genealogists, medical history research, etc.;
  • SRC Chief Superintendent of Refugee Camps, 1900-1903: This consists ofrecords of all the Refugee Camps in the Free State during the South African War.
  • SBS Regional Representative, Department of Home Affairs: Registers re births, marriages and deaths for the Bloemfontein region;
  • Governmental Secretary, 1854-1900;
  • Colonial Office, 1901-1911; and
  • Records, which originated at all the provincial government levels, and those which originated at the different local authorities in the Free State as well as the different magistrate’s offices in the Free State.
  • The records of the former QwaQwa ‘homeland’.

The only website available is that of the National Archives. This has a search facility, but the database is limited, partial and seriously out of date so that even key records can be difficult or impossible to find using it. Finding aids are available in the repository, with most of these now transferred into an electronic format. A combination of references in published work, email or telephone contacts with staff and personal visit will be required to establish the relevance of its collections to any particular project.

Last updated: 1 January 2018