The Vermeulen Archive

The track of the organ builder Vermeulen of Weert can be followed up to the beginning of the eighteenth century. The oldest known reference dates from 1730 and concerns “Joannes Vermeulen, organ builder of Nederweert”. Until about 1980, nine generations of the family had been active in the company. Their work was initially under Rhineland and Maasland influence. The firm began to flourish when Petrus Johannes Vermeulen took over in about 1860. The soundly made instruments reflect international developments in organ building: pneumatic action was employed from ca. 1900, and increasing interest in the north German Baroque organ (the so-called Organ Movement) was felt from ca. 1930. After 1945 the company consolidated its leading position and became increasingly involved in the restoration of various types of historical instrument, applying the knowledge thus acquired in its new organs.

The surviving part of the archive of Vermeulen of Weert is to be found in the Utrecht Organ Archive. It comprises technical drawings, cashbooks and ledgers, contracts, invoices, tax documents and correspondence, altogether some 12,400 items. The financial-economic items, including material from World War II, are particularly interesting.

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Letter from the Vermeulen brothers to the Chamber of Commerce (±1945) (l)
and a design for the R.C. church at Kessel (1955) (r)

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Several cashbooks (l)
and some technical drawings (r) from the Vermeulen Archive