The story of the British South Africa Company Historical Catalogue and Souvenir of Rhodesia began many years ago at Johannesburg in the mid-1930s. It touched my life in Northern Rhodesia in 1964, when I realised that I needed to preserve this document as a valuable part of our history and heritage. It has been more than 70 years since this catalogue was used at the Empire Exhibition in Johannesburg, and it has been almost half a century since the document came into my possession. After all this time, I can finally present a digital version that will surely out-live the original paper version of the document, and that is easily available to everyone with a computer, anywhere in the world. I know of only one other copy of this document, held in collection at the Killie Campbell Africana Library of the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
In 1995, when the idea of a web site for ex-pat Northern Rhodesians was still something mulling about in my head, I was trying to gather enough information together so that there would be a number of interesting elements besides just a list of survivors scattered about the planet. I managed to get a little bit of information from the BSAC catalogue on the original Great North Road at the time, but not enough. The entire document had to be typed into a computer in HTML, and all the photographs scanned. Without the help of my good friend, Mr. Vincent Steenberg, who is a proud Dutchman, and not the slightest bit Northern Rhodesian, this would not have happened. Mr. Steenberg now subsequently knows a lot more about Northern Rhodesian history than most of the Northern Rhodesians I know! Many thanks to Mr. Steenberg, for his intrepid and incredible feat at instigating this enormous task and for accomplishing the first great amount of work of transferring the document into HTML format for display on the World Wide Web!
On 28 April, 2006, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Great North Road, I was happy to present the entire document (including all of the photos I had at the time)—the British South Africa Company Historical Catalogue & Souvenir of Rhodesia, Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg, 1936-37 in HTML format on the Great North Road web site. For the first time since the inception of the Great North Road, the document that figured high in the original idea of the web site was now online for all to read.
When I posted this document back in 2006, I stated that this was a "work-in-progress". Almost two years later, after more work, including a tour of the West-Cape in South Africa partially to find more information on the catalogue, I have now completed the final phase. The primary objective has been completed—to provide for the readers of the Great North Road web site, an almost exact copy of the catalogue as close as possible to having the original document in hand. This was accomplished by taking the HTML version and converting it to a PDF (Portable Document Format) version.
In the original spirit of the Great North Road web site, the intent of providing the BSAC Catalogue in this digital form is to continue and to encourage sharing of tangible contributions to our heritage, history, and culture. In fact, considering that you can print this document so that it will resemble almost exactly the original copy, you can consider it a shared gift for all to own.
Here are some facts about the work that went into this second and final edition of the Great North Road PDF version of the British South Africa Company Historical Catalogue & Souvenir of Rhodesia:
Note: Spelling of place names in the catalogue reflect the spelling used at the time of original publication of the document.
Instructions on viewing the catalogue:
There are two ways you can view the catalogue: either directly over the Web, or by downloading the PDF to your computer and viewing it from there. If you view it directly over the Web, it may be a lot slower when you click on links and return to the PDF document. Therefore, we recommend that you download the PDF to your computer. If you do this, you will need to have Adobe Reader 8 (or later version) available on your computer so that you can view the PDF document. Adobe Reader 8 is a free PDF reader application.
Viewing the catalogue over the Web:
Click here to view the catalogue over the Web.
Downloading and viewing the catalogue from your Windows computer:
Downloading and viewing the catalogue from your Mac computer:
To report any problems with the following pages, including any typographical errors, please use the GNR contact form.
Dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Tawse-Jolie, O.B.E. Honorary Secretary and Organizer of Responsible Government Party, 1917-1923. First woman elected to Parliament in Overseas Dominions, 1920. Author of "The Chartered Company in Rhodesia", British South Africa Company Historical Catalogue and Souvenir of Rhodesia, Empire Exhibition, Johannesburg, 1936-37.