[Shortened and translated from: blitspos@nhk 10(18), 15 June 2017]
A new future for our Archive
The Archive and Library Committee noted with gratitude and appreciation the General Church Assembly Commission’s decision to move the Church’s archive to the Heritage Foundation’s (HF) facilities.
This decision is the result of various meetings and discussions between the Archive Committee, the Five-man Committee and HF staff. On 15 June, the Church archivist, Nándor Sarkady, and others met with HF staff to coordinate the move.
The move will surely be a delicate process that should be executed in a cautious and professional manner. The Committee is convinced that Mr Sarkady, together with the assistance and support from Cecilia Kruger, managing director, and HF staff will manage the move with the greatest care. The move signals a new future for the Archive – a future that is based on a conservation partnership between like-minded institutions.
The HF is a recognised organisation, not only known nationally and internationally for its expertise, but also for its facilities such as a library, reading rooms with internet connections and dedicated research space. All of these facilities are situated in an accessible and environmentally friendly location with a panoramic view of Pretoria.
The partnership with the HF also materialised due to the fact that the General Church Assembly Commission became a member of the HF several years ago, on recommendation from the Archive Committee. This decision was driven by the need to connect and collaborate with a network of conservation institutions. The need to create a conservation network was supplemented by visits to the Archive of the Reformed Churches of South Africa as well as the Dutch Reformed Church’s (NGK) Archive in Stellenbosch and Bloemfontein.
The Archive’s new home will provide an opportunity to collaborate with researchers, colleagues and church members to make the history of the Church accessible to her future.
Prof Natie van Wyk, member of the Committee, rightly noted in reaction to the decision of the GCA Commission, and after visiting the early Reformative monastery archives of Gotha and Erfurt, that we have to prioritise the preservation and development of our Archive and Library.
Dr Christo Pretorius
Chairperson: Archive and Library Committee
Dutch Reformed Church (NHK)