The Ypma Archive

The organ builder Ypma (Bolsward/Alkmaar) was active for a relatively short period (ca. 1835-1902). The company's founder, Dirk Sjoerds Ypma (who died in 1854) trained with the Frisian builder Willem van Gruisen (1788-1843), who in turn was schooled in the north German tradition of the eighteenth century: his father Albert van Gruisen (ca.1741—1824) was a pupil of Albert Anthoni Hinsz (1704-1785), who originated from Hamburg. The Ypmas were Roman Catholics, and most of their work was for the new R.C. churches that arose throughout North and South Holland after restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in 1853. A strong tradition of craftsmanship stood under influence of the French builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. The tonal character of Ypma organs was determined by their liturgical function. Only one generation of the family (Dirk Sjoerds and his brothers Lodewijk Sjoerds and Dirk) was active in organ building, and in 1902 the company was taken over by Jos. Vermeulen of the Weert family of organ builders. Some time later, the company name was replaced by that of Jos. Vermeulen of Alkmaar. The well-known Amsterdam piano traders Ypma are also related to the family: this firm was established in 1868 by Petrus Ypma (1840-1913), the son of Dirk Sjoerds Ypma.

The archive of the organ buiders Ypma is in the possession of the Vermeulen family of Alkmaar. A significant part of it - ca. 200 letters, invoices and cashbooks - is present in copies in the Utrecht Organ Archive.

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Estimate for an organ in Osdorp (1901)(l)
and a contract for a new organ in the R.C. church at Monnikendam (1911)(r)