The Synod of 1961 came to a clear decision over the
archives of the church, over which it has full and
exclusive authority. The Synod goes to some cost and
effort to house the archival documents of the church
The aim of the archive:
The archive is a source of information systematically
organised and in service of the Gereformeerde Kerke in
As a rich source of information the archive also serves
a range of other sciences (individuals or institutions
of other subject fields), responds to official and
academic institutional queries and provides researchers
with information on research methodology.
Functions of the archive:
identifies, obtains and evaluates records/material of
creates adequate and proper conditions for the
storing, protection and retaining of archive records and
restores, orders and catalogues archive records and
collections to enable the documentation of their
physical location (where they are located);
sets up a system for research, makes archive material
available and offers assistance to researchers;
offers access to information that complies with the
law and gifting agreements;
makes information available on collections to
stakeholders within and outside the church; and
liaises with other archive and collection enterprises
at church, national and provincial level.
Archive material is at present stored in boxes, but
storage space is running out.
Additional space for storage may well have to be sought
and will require the archive to be managed at two
levels/terrains/ places, if a larger building cannot be
Deputies were already tasked at Synod 2000 with urgently
investigating whether the GKSA needs a new archive
If the above is not attended to soon, the GKSA may soon
only be able to store archive material in electronic
Benefits: Electronic Storage
Saving of physical space
All documents are received and stored in a uniform
Authentic information can be used by researchers as
their primary source
Electronic information enables a more speedy response
A uniform system for registers enables low-cost and
effort processing of incoming information and
distribution of information to researchers
Factors to be taken into account with the storing of
archives and museum exhibits:
Temperature and humidity
Pests and plagues
Incorrect temperature and relative humidity levels can
hasten a damaging chemical reaction in material that
cause mildew, acid, shrinkage and brittleness. The
greatest danger is a fluctuation in temperature and
relative humidity, which must be avoided at all costs in
the daytime. Great pressure is placed on the paper that
swells at high humidity levels and shrink at low levels,
due to loss of moisture.
Best practice is regulating temperature and relative
humidity, instead of seeking unrealistic temperature and
relative humidity levels. Air conditioning aids in
regulating temperature and relative humidity, but needs
to be maintained every day all day to ensure effectivity.
It must also be installed away from archive material.
UV rays and heat radiation from the sun and artificial
lighting are detrimental to archive and museum items.
Fluorescent lighting is best for all archive material.
The storage area cannot have any windows.
A high amount of dust and gasses create all sorts of
Dust particles penetrate and weaken paper fibres.
A storage cellar must have an air filtration level of
85%, especially for photographic and magnetic material.
Dust could contain acid that affects the pH of the
paper. Dust can damage the emulsion layer of
photographic film, leading to scratches and other kinds
The absorption of acidic gasses adds to the
brittleness of paper.
Dead air is to be avoided and good ventilation
maintained. Stagnant air increases mildew, fungus and
Pests and plagues
Before any archive material is stored in the cellar,
all of it is thoroughly cleaned.
Then the necessary restoration, sorting and boxing
occurs for further attention in the transition safe.
Here the material is sprayed for mothballs and to
remove any insect life that remained after the cleaning
The temperature in the cellar is regulated to prevent
the infestation and growth of any pests.
The aim of restoration is to retain the physical and
functional integrity of an item by repairing damage and
the effects of change.
Restoration entails renewing to the original condition,
largely through methods not detrimental to the whole, by
means of the correct resources and materials.
General information on the archives
Information archive open upon appointment
Act 2 of 200 Guidelines for storing
on the archives
Archive Manual for GKSA Congregations
Information archive open upon
Information to church councils
of 200 Guidelines for storing
Research form application for access
to record of public body
Introduction to the GKSA archive
Contact details and office hours:
The archive is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 13:00
and 14:00 to 16:00.
Contact details for further information:
Telephone number: 018 294 8952
Physical address: corner of Molen and Borcherd Streets
Postal address: 20004, Noordbrug, 2522, Theological
Who may visit the archives
Genealogical researchers and church members search for
information in the archives. Church council queries are
answered from their archive documents, since such
documents remain the property of the congregation. The
archivist offers guidance and makes documentation
available for research.