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Akademia receives the N.P. van Wyk Louw donation with deep gratitude

On 25 May, Akademia exhibited the donation of the N.P. Van Wyk Louw collection, which was donated by Peter Louw, son of this well-known Afrikaans poet and philosopher. The collection includes N.P. Van Wyk Louw’s books, hand-written manuscripts, and notes, as well as the poet’s self-recorded records and voice recordings.

Dr. Hercules Boshoff, lecturer at Akademia; Prof. Pieter Duvenage, dean of the Faculty of Humanities; Marthinus Visser, managing  director of Akademia; Carel Boshoff, holder of the N.P. Van Wyk Louw honorary chair; and various others attended the gathering at the institution’s Centurion campus. ‘Akademia is grateful for the donation, and the collection is displayed at the media centre on the campus,” said Lianda Coetzer, librarian at Akademia’s Centurion campus.

Van Wyk Louw’s son elaborated on why this donation was specifically entrusted to Akademia. According to him, his father was a lover of books. He (N.P. Van Wyk Louw) was an avid reader and studier of books. ‘I use the word ‘studier’ because he had an enormous interest in everything on earth, above, and below, and his time spent around books portrays this almost obsessive hankering towards knowledge and insight,’ he explained.

Van Wyk’s son is of the opinion that, in the light of the decline of Afrikaans at the level of tertiary education, Akademia, as an ‘unashamedly Afrikaans university’, is the ideal and worthy recipient if this precious donation. ‘I am convinced that my dear parents would have approved of such a donation and I trust that the lives of many others would be enriched thereby, as was mine,’ he explained.

Carel Boshoff, holder of Akademia’s N.P. Van Wyk Louw honorary chair, believes that the poet was a liberal nationalist and that the people of today can still learn a lot from his work.

Duvenage describes Van Wyk Louw as ‘a rather simple older man’, but who is of cardinal importance today. According to him, Louw’s poetry is important and ought to receive the opportunity to be revived in the form of podcasts. ‘The AfriForum Theatre should breathe life into his theatre plays so that the people of today could interpret his work,’ said Duvenage.

Akademia is grateful for the precious donation of the van Wyk Louw collection and aims to have his work revived. If you are interested in making a donation to Akademia, please click here for more information. Akademia aims to preserve precious Afrikaans books and other items for our posterity.

The N.P. Van Wyk Louw collection was exhibited on 25 May at Akademia’s Centurion campus.
Prof. Carel Boshoff, Lianda Coetzer, Pieter Visser, Dr. Marthinus Visser, and Dr. Hercules Boshoff attended the evening, among others.
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