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About UP

Prof F.A. Van Jaarsveld

(1922 - 1995)

Prof Floris Albertus van Jaarsveld word beskryf as ‘n akademikus wat “die leergange vir geskiedenis gemoderniseer het deurdie invoering van eietydse geskiedenis met die klem op sosiaal-ekonomiese temas”. Hy was van 1973 tot 1985 hoof van die Universiteit van Pretoria se Departement Geskiedenis. Hy was veral bekend vir sy uitstaande kennis oor historiese wetenskap,insluitende kunsgeskiedenis en die geskiedenis van astronomie, plantkunde en argeologie, om maar net ‘n paar te noem. Hy het in 1941 met studies aan die Onderwyskollege van Pretoria begin en in 1943 behaal hy sy BA-graad met geskiedenis enaardrykskunde as hoofvakke. In 1946 voltooi hy sy MA-graad (cum laude) aan UP. Hy aanvaar ‘n pos as onderwyser en deeltydse lektor in geskiedenis aan UP, maar vertrek in 1947 na Nederland om in Groningen onder die befaamde Prof PJ van Winter testudeer. Hy verwerf sy DLitt et Phil-graad in 1950. Ná voltooiing van sy PhD tree Prof Van Jaarsveld op as gasdosent by verskeie universiteite in Duitsland voordat hy terugkeer na Suid-Afrika. Vir eers gee hy skool voordat hy in 1958 aangestel word as seniorlektor in geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika (Unisa). In 1960 word hy bevorder tot hoof van die departement en in 1967 aanvaar hy ‘n pos in die Departement van Geskiedenis aan die Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit (RAU). In 1973 word hyaangestel as hoof van UP se Departement Geskiedenis. Hy het in 1985 afgetree, maar was steeds ‘n buitengewone professor aan UP. Prof  Van Jaarsveld het verskeie toekennings en pryse vir sy navorsing ontvang, insluitende die Suid-AfrikaanseAkademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns se Stalspryse vir onderskeidelik Geskiedenis en Kultuurgeskiedenis en die oorkonde van die Afrikaanse Studentebond vir die Bevordering van die Afrikaanse Handboek. Prof Van Jaarsveld het op verskeie komiteesen rade gedien en was onder meer die Voorsitter van die Historiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika, lid van die Maatschappij der Nederlands Letterkunde, die Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns, die Suid-Afrikaanse Historiese Vereniging en die Historiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika. Hy was ook redakteur van die genootskap se joernaal, Historia. Hy het verskeie geskiedkundigeboeke geskryf oor, onder meer, die geskiedenis van Transvaal (Gauteng), maar veral oor historiografie, asook geesteswetenskaplike- en kultuurhistoriese temas soos die omstredeSuid-Afrikaanse verlede, geskiedenisideologie en die historiese skuldvraagstuk. Hy was
die outeur of mede-outeur van meer as 150 artikels wat in wetenskaplike en populêrevaktydskrifte verskyn het en 40 boeke.

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Prof Floris Albertus van Jaarsveld is described as an academic who “modernised thehistory curricula with the introduction of contemporary history with an emphasis on sosio-economic themes”. He was head of the University of Pretoria’s Department of History from 1973 to 1985. He was renowned for his exceptional knowledge of the science of history, including the history of art and the history of astronomy, botony andarchaeology, to mention but a few. In 1941, he commenced his studies at the Pretoria Teachers’ Training College and obtained his BA with history and geography as major subjects in 1943. In 1946, he obtained his MA degree (cum laude) at UP. Heaccepted a position as teacher and part-time history lecturer at UP, but left for The Netherlands in 1947 to study at Groningen under the famous Prof PJ van Winter. He obtained his DLitt et Phil degree in 1950. Upon completion of his PhD, Prof VanJaarsveld acted as guest lecturer at various universities in Germany before returning to South Africa. He first taught at a school before being appointed as senior lecturer in history at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in 1958. In 1960, he was promotedto head of department and in 1967 he accepted a position in the Department of History of the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU). In 1973, he was appointed head of UP’s Department of History. He retired in 1985, but remained an extraordinary professor at UP. Prof Van Jaarsveld received various awards and prizes for his research, including the Stals Prize of the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns for history and cultural history respectively and the award of the Afrikaanse Studentebondfor the advancement of the Afrikaans textbook. Prof Van Jaarsveld served on various committees and boards and was, among
others, Chairman of the History Society of of South Africa, member of the Maatschappij der Nederlands Letterkunde, the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns and the South African Association of History and the History Foundation of South Arfica. He was also editor of the foundation’s journal, Historia. He wrote several books on history, which covered topics such asthe history of the Transvaal, historiography, as well as themes from the humanities and cultural history such as the controversial South African past, historical ideology and the question of historic guilt. He was the author or co-author of more than 150 articlesthat appeared in scientific and popular journals and 40 books.