The Smits Archive

Catalogue of the Smits Archive (in Dutch)

The organ builders Smits of Reek (North Brabant) were active from ca. 1820 to 1925. Six members of the Smits family, spread across three generations, directed the company in this period. The firm occupies a special position, since it was the first to realise the exceptional value of the monumental organs of the Netherlands from ca. 1500, and to seek inspiration in them for its own instruments. The Smits company managed to maintain traditions of craftsmanship dating from before 1800 (particularly Brabant-French and South German-Austrian traditions) without making significant concessions to industrial processes that affected organ building increasingly after 1870. Smits instruments are counted among the very best of nineteenth-century organ building by reason of their highly characteristic dark but lucid tone and their technical soundness. The company built about 100 organs, mainly in the south of the country.

The Utrecht Organ Archive possesses part of the Smits archive, including designs, working drawings, sketches, costings, tenders, contracts, technical descriptions (including stop list books), invoices, accounts, correspondence, tables, and photographs and other illustrations, amounting to some 650 items.

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J. C. Smits-Boeracker (1759-1850), F.C. Smits (1834-1918), W. J. Smits (1844-1929) and F.C.J. Smits (1878-1928) 


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Design for a Rugpositief - pen/pencil 239 x 332 cm Amsterdam, St Willibrordus binnen de Veste (l)
and stop list for a proposed organ for the R.C. church at Batenburg (1879) (r)

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Pen drawing of pneumatic action, 330x618 cm, date and organ unknown