J.H. de Bussy

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J.H. de Bussy is a printing an publishing company which was responsible for the publication of many Afrikaans publications in the early part of the 20th century.

Its full name in the Netherlands was: "N.V. Drukkerij en Uitgeverij J.H. de Bussy" and in South Africa it was officially known as J.H. de Bussy Bpk (or later also J.H. de Bussy Ltd). Often simply referred to as De Bussy.


Founded in 1868 in Veenendaal, in the Netherlands, the business over time developed into a large entity which undertook not only publishing of all kinds, but was also a printer, book binder, factory for souvenirs and office materials, and an advertising offce. Since 1883 its headquarters have been at Rokin 60-62 in Amsterdam, with affiliated offices in Pretoria and Cape Town.

Through the initiative of a Mr J.K. Huizinga, of Amsterdam, and at the insistence of the Dutch churches in South Africa, the publishing firm Jacques Dusseau & Co[1] of Amsterdam founded a branch in Cape Town on 1 May 1894, to sell and publish religious books among the Dutch speaking population of South Africa. The business was run by the Fellema brothers, and their initial publications were virtually all religious works, with some historical and educational publications from time to time.

By the late 1890s the Cape Town branch of the rival Dutch publishing firm Jacques Dusseau & Co had run into financial difficulties, and was taken over by the Pretoria based branch of De Bussy in 1900. The joint company began to publish some works under the new name of Hollandsch-Afrikaansche Uitgevers Maatshappij, though De Bussy also continued to use its own imprint.

In 1967 the company fused with printers Drukkerijen v/h Ellerman Harms NV to become De Bussy-Ellerman Harms, and in 1969 also took ovedr H.J.W. Becht's Uitgeversmaatschappij NV to become De Bussy-Ellerman Harms-Becht.

Due to problems with their other overseas businesses, the firm De Bussy withdrew from South Africa, and HAUM became a totally South African owned company.

Books on drama and theatre published by De Bussy:

They published a number plays, collections of plays and books about theatre and the arts, including

F.C.L. Bosman's groundbreaking history of South African theatre entitled Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel I: 1652-1855[2]). Published in 1928, under the joint imprint of "J.H. de Bussy Beperk, Pretoria and H.A.U.M. v/h (formerly) Jacques Dusseau & Co, Kaapstad".




"Iets over N.V. Drukkerij en Uitgeverij J.H. De Bussy, Amsterdam." J.H. de Bussy, 1955.

J.N. van Rosmalen.1972. "De Bussy-Ellerman Harms-Becht" in Ons Erfdeel. Jaargang 15 [3]

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