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J J Oberholster

1911 - 1980

J J Oberholster

Author of historical books
Professor of History at the University of Orange Free State and the first Director of the National Monuments Council until 1976

Jacobus Johannes Oberholster (known by his friends as Obie) was born on 12 May, 1911 on the farm Noibis in the Karasburg district, South West Africa.
As this isolated area lacked schools, he received his first tuition privately and in small schools on neighbouring farms, until he was sent to the Keetmanhoop High School and later Boy's High School in Paarl, where he matriculated in 1931. He studied at Stellenbosch University (BA 1934, MA in History 1935, PhD 1943).
Obie was a US Rugby captain and later played for Western Province.
After obtaining his Secondary Teachers Diploma in 1936, he was appointed as part time student assistant in the Department of History. In 1938 he was appointed as assistant - registrar at his Alma Mater, but when he was awarded the Webb - bursary for further studies he preferred to join the teaching profession.
1944 -1948: History teacher at schools in Worcester.
In 1948 he was appointed as senior lecturer in History at the University of the Orange Free State, and professor in 1964. In 1952 he became member of the Historic Monuments Council Commission (later National Monuments Council). In 1976, when he retired from the university, he was appointed as the first Director of the National Monuments Council, a position he held until his death on 13 February, 1980.

J J Oberholster was married to Philippina Grobbelaar in 1943. They lived in Bloemfontein, where their two daughters were born, and moved to Stellenbosch in 1976.

Acta Academica 9, Universiteit van die Oranje-Vrystaat, 1976 was dedicated to Prof Dr. J J Oberholster.

1972: National Monuments Council's gold award
I B M Hertzog gold award from the South African Academy of Arts and Science


Die Anneksasie van Griekwaland-Wes, doctoral thesis (supervision by H B Thom, 1943) was republished in 1975.
President Steyn aan die word. Openbare geskrifte en toesprake van Marthinus Theunis Steyn, (co-author: M C E van Schoor), 1953
Gedenkalbum van die Oranje-Vrystaat, (co-authors: M C E van Schoor, A J H Maree), 1954
Christiaan Rudolph de Wet 1854-1922, (co-authors: M C E van Schoor, S I Malan), 1954
Eeufeesgedenkboek van die N.G. Gemeente, Jacobsdal 1860-1960, 1960
Die Nasionale Vrouemonument, 1961
Die Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in die Oranje-Vrystaat, (co-author: M C E van Schoor), 1963
Die Vierde Raadsaal, Bloemfontein, (co-author: F Hefer), 1965
Ons nasionale feesdae, (co-author: M C E van Schoor), 1967
Gedenkprogram Vyftigjarige Bestaan Gemeente Bloemfontein-Noord 1919-1969, 1969
Wepener 1869-1969, 1969
Die Historiese Monumente van Suid-Afrika, 1971 (also translated in English)
Met Steyn en De Wet op Kommando - Dagboek van Oskar Hintrager, 1974
Senior Geskiedenis van S.A. Skole, (co-authors: M C E van Schoor, A G Coetzee and K J Pienaar)
Ons Japie, dagboek van Anna Berry 1899-1902
Dinganestat, Mgungundlovu
Toesprake van genl J. B. M. Hertzog, (co-authors: D W Krüger and F J du T Spies), (6 volumes)

Seven refereed articles, seven contributions to books

Text by Philippina Oberholster, May 2003

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