Preserving a Rich Legacy
Third-year history student Karilyn Van Brugge spent the summer of 2021 exploring and maintaining Redeemer’s history.
3 min. read
March 29, 2022

Spending the summer accompanied by the reflections of journalists and Dutch philosophers might be monotonous for some. Karilyn Van Brugge considers it a formative experience of her undergraduate journey. As an intern at Redeemer’s Peter Turkstra Library, she devoted her time to two major projects. The first was cataloguing an extensive collection of books, pamphlets, serials and other archival items from the Dooyeweerd Centre, which was established at the university to honour the legacy of Dutch Christian philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. The second was the ongoing digitization of issues of the newspaper Christian Courier (formerly known as Calvinist Contact) ranging from 1949 to 2013.

“I completed about 1,000 issues, which is actually a huge chunk of the project,” explains Van Brugge. “There’s still a little more to do, but now it can hopefully be wrapped up fairly soon.”

Van Brugge found that the skills she’s acquired in the classroom translated quite seamlessly into her daily tasks.

I was confronted with many theological, political and social issues.

“The most important skills you develop in the history program are researching strategically, identifying quality sources and bringing your research together in a professionally drafted text,” she says. “I used all of them while creating the digital libguides (explanations published on the library website) for each project. I also learned how to handle archival items and navigate online databases.”

As the summer went on, she was strengthened both academically and spiritually by the material.

“I was confronted with many theological, political and social issues. For example, Christian Courier addressed controversial topics of the 20th century such as abortion or the role of women in the church. It caused me to consider my own viewpoints as a Reformed Christian in the 21st century.”

Van Brugge takes pride in the fact that her work, though arduous, has contributed to Redeemer’s mission. In fact, she’s even working on a short moment-by-moment history of the university for its upcoming 40th anniversary.

“At this point, the Dooyeweerd Centre isn’t functioning. Adding its resources to the library ensures that the Centre’s legacy will continue to benefit students and scholars. The huge dent I made in digitizing the Christian Courier issues means that, in the near future, the articles will be available as online resources for the university, the public at large and the Dutch immigrant communities whose history they preserve.”

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