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Sears Frederick Riepma

 File — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Sears Frederick Riepma papers consist of materials from 1812 to 1991 (bulk, 1882-1977), which document the life and activities of the Riepma and Van Zwaluwenburg families. This record group consists of folders divided into 13 subgroups: Riepma Family Records; Riepma Family Memorabilia; Van Zwaluwenburg Family Records; Sears Frederick Riepma (SFR) Autobiography; SFR and Family; SFR Marriages; SFR Children; SFR Personal Papers and Photographs; SFR Ministerial Activities; Correspondence from Radio Listeners; Oversize Certificates; Last Years and Death; and Family Books.

One of the greatest strengths of this collection is its abundance of visual materials. There are well over one thousand photographs, ten photo buttons, four slides, and eight photo albums. These materials document the Riepma and Van Zwaluwenburg family members, life at Hope College during the turn of the century, Sears’ ministries, and trips to Europe. Many of the older photographs are especially interesting due to their "natural" composition instead of the stiff posed nature so prevalent in images from that time period. For example, there are photos of picnics, parties, students relaxing and studying, and fishing. These give researchers a more realistic idea of activities of that era.

The primary focus of the collection is on the life and activities of Sears Frederick Riepma. The most thoroughly documented aspects of his life are his ministerial activities, excursions to Europe, and his autobiography, Rev. Sears F. Riepma 1878-1977: My Ancestry, Life and Ministry. These materials shed light on the personal side of Riepma. They reveal a very giving, spiritual man whose sense of humor and positive outlook on life was a benefit to all who came in contact with him.

Documents relating to family records primarily consist of genealogies and autobiographies. Most of the later material in the collection, 1978-1986, is newspaper clippings and correspondence relating to family members. The grade records of Riepma's children are RESTRICTED. These items were collected by Mary Riepma Ross while she was the caretaker of the family archive. Collection is organized alphabetically.


  • 1812 - 1991
  • Majority of material found within 1882 - 1977


From the Collection: 7.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Hope College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Van Wylen Library
53 Graves Place
Holland Michigan 49423 United States