Seminar The Future of Theological Libraries
Friday 12 December 2014 Free University, Amsterdam
I am very happy that so many have taken the effort to come to our Jubilee Seminar on the Future of Theological Libraries.
We have been working hard for the past ten years. At the same time we tried to be as cost effective as possible. The board decided that just one small party in a ten year’s period cannot be seen as an excessive waste of money.
The Foundation exists of six people. Five of us are retired. The board members, who at the same time are also the volunteers of the foundation, were shocked and grieved by the events in 2004 in Ambon. The immediate cause was the celebration of the 54th Anniversary of the Republik Maluku Selatan by some people. A riot broke out. We received then the following cry for help:
“On the 26th April 2004, UKIM was attacked by a mob, which destroyed what was left over of the university after being attacked during the Moluccan conflict in 1999.
Sixteen lecture rooms were completely destroyed. The saddest thing is that our library, which we consider to be the heart of the university, is also completely destroyed. Because of this we feel empty and desperate. The building can be renovated, but the library collection cannot so easily be replaced. Books are our most valuable asset. We are determined to continue running the school, because we cannot succumb to terror and intimidation.
We are not running an illegal political business as was the accusation of some of the rioters. To us running our institution is the manifestation of our accountability to the public, to the church and especially to God whom we believe has called us into this mission.
It is in this connection that we ask for your help in rebuilding our library. Any book in our four fields of study, which you might contribute to us, will be of much help.
We plea to you as once the Macedonian Church to Saint Paul Please Come Over And Help Us.
Signed Rev. Dr. Margaretha M viagra pas cher. Hendriks-R.”
We heard this cry for help and we decided to try to do what we can. We set up the foundation Library Development Indonesia. We received books from the library of the Hendrik Kraemer Institute, which had to stop its services. Kerk in Actie was willing to pay for the costs of transport to Ambon. We received also books from the Stichting Boeken voor Mensen in Maastricht, which collects books for an annual sale. The Catholic Association for Ecumenics donated us its library when it had to move its office from Den Bosch to Utrecht. A manager of Selexyz, tipped about our foundation, by his Moluccan neighbor, donated several thousands of new books, which had been left unsold in his book shops. The bookshop of the Free University donated us about one thousand new books of which newer editions had been published. Prof Rochus Zuurmond, professor emeritus in Biblical Theology at the University of Amsterdam, donated the largest part of his excellent personal library, books he had been collecting for decades. We had been selecting antique books from the HKI collection and had put these apart in the cellar of the complex of the Protestant Church in Utrecht. Then, on one weekend, there was an inundation and all these books were destroyed by water. The insurance company gave us € 75.000 to cover the damage. We used this to assist the Center for the Documentation of Indonesian Church History of the Theological College Jakarta to buy books from antiquarian booksellers, specialized in Indonesia, like Minerva in The Hague. Finally, just over a year ago we managed to acquire some 65,000 books from the library of the Protestant University of Kampen. It is a wonderful collection, perfectly suitable for the students and staff of UKIM. We spent more than a year to select the books. This work is now finished and we can send about 21,000 English language books to Ambon. Books in other languages we have sent to the Protestant Faculty in Cluj, Rumania and to the Wittenberg in Zeist.
And after this?
First, we are going to celebrate our lustrum. Then we will be start thinking on how to continue. We feel that our foundation remains useful to help transfer books that are here threatened by destruction by the shredder, to Indonesia where students and staff are so much in need of good quality academic books.
For this work we also count on your continuing support,
for which we are enormously grateful.
Rev Dr At Ipenburg
Chairman Foundation Library Development Indonesia