Welcome to the House of the Beloved
The House of the Beloved in Hamilton, New Jersey, USA
The day Beloved Archives closed on the House of the Beloved in Hamilton, New Jersey, the city was blanketed with snow. As a few of us ploughed through the driveway of the House, our legs sank into the frozen ice crystals as we plodded to the main doorway. It was a memorable beginning.
Two days later, on the Eternal Day, January 31, 2011, the sun had emerged after a long cold winter, its rays bouncing off the sides of the brick house. Even though the branches of the trees were bent and gnarled, the manicured garden showing off a Weeping Norway and Alberta Spruce, Arborvitae and Chamaecyparis conifers in the front of the House, still stood strong welcoming its new residents. We placed a beautiful photograph of the Beloved One and surrounded his image with pink roses and colourful tulips. The Master's Prayer set the tone for the morning as the few of us shared sweet 'rava' and expressed our gratitude. Seekers, visiting the House of the Beloved, will soon step into an open space and view a large wooden plaque showing Meher Baba's Mastery in Servitude emblem. Tom, Diane, Seth and Obe Golding in Vermont are lovingly crafting the plaque after acclimating the wood to interior humidity. Tom writes, "It was harvested about two miles from Saxtons River and is the most pristine Linden wood that I have ever seen - very clear and white."
IN SERVICE OF THE BELOVED
The House had functioned for many years as a legal office and it had the look and feel of a commercial establishment. It was left to us to transform it into an Archive worthy of the Beloved. Just as we were contemplating on hiring a contractor, an electrician, a painter, we received a call from a man who lived a short distance from the House. His first words were, "I would like to be of service to Meher Baba." We invited him and he volunteered to paint the entire establishment. Along with him came three Buddhist house workers from Vietnam, ready and willing to shape and mould the House.
The emblem of Meher Baba's ministry:
MASTERY IN SERVITUDE plaque
For over 2 months the workers and our Baba-helper, Kevin Kealy, worked at breakneck speed and we are now getting closer to completion. The grounds of the House of the Beloved are blessed with several magnificent mature trees, some of them over 100 years old. These trees form the focal point of the landscape. The red maple, white oak, and the American elm are some of these grand sentinels that tower over the House. When our doorbell rang this week, a Baba-lover from Massachusetts, Alexander Hamilton, stood with an array of gardening implements to work on the expanse of this private wilderness. He quickly surveyed the area and declared, "I need to remove the wild rose brambles and several other invasive species." And added, "This garden will soon be worthy of joining the ranks of other Baba gardens around the world."
PROTECTION OF THE HOUSE
Since the House of the Beloved will function as a centre for preservation and storage of Meher Baba's artifacts, rare original documents, photographs dating back to 1894, the House has been designed to preserve, protect and share all these precious materials from the ravages of excessive heat, humidity, dust and negative climatic effects. Beloved Archives is protected and monitored by ADT systems, the largest electronic security service provider in America. Every ADT system is connected to their network of Monitoring Centers, along with wireless intrusion detection. All the windows of the House are reinforced with glass-breakers. Control of temperature and relative humidity is of critical importance in the preservation of this archival collection because unacceptable levels can contribute significantly to the breakdown of materials. Beloved Archives is working with experts in the field to install adequate climate controls and operation to maintain conservation standards in order to stave off deterioration of these precious materials. Light accelerates deterioration of archival material. It can cause paper to bleach, yellow or darken. Consequently, we are storing documents and photographs in fireproof cabinets in an archival area that is shielded from the sun.
CATALOGUING ARCHIVAL MATERIAL
As the construction work on the House winds down, the next phase will focus on cataloguing artifacts, sorting and re-housing documents in acid-free folders. During this process, each sheet is dusted; dog-ears smoothed out and staple pins removed and each page of the document gently placed in acid-free folders by volunteers wearing gloves. Recently, at Beloved Archives, while examining the lists of names of all those seekers who came to see Meher Baba at the home of Graham Phelps Stokes in 1931 and 1932, some of our Sherlockian investigators followed the trail and have tracked down the Baba connection of Meher Baba's early disciples. One such seeker was Cath Gardner who gave Meher Baba as a 'gift from the heart' a large parcel of land on November 17, 1931 in New Hampshire. We featured the deed in the 1996 issue of Glow International. Last week, one of our intrepid sleuths found another deed and several documents pertaining to Cath Gardner. We will feature these and other stories of the early seekers who came to Meher Baba in a forthcoming issue of Glow International.
MEHER MEDIALAB: AUDIO AND VIDEO SUITE
The House of the Beloved will have an archival video and audio suite, which will help to expand the ability of the Archives to encompass audio and video transfers from all incoming formats to digital. Led by Philip Ludwig, the suite will be acoustically treated for live recording of voice and instruments. This new facility will also enable Beloved Archives to record both video and audio of programmes held in the large archival meeting room at the House of the Beloved, talks or live performances. The audio suite will consist of a digital audio workstation, video editing with a mixer, audio monitoring and a 43" HD TV/Computer Screen. Seekers visiting the House will be able to view Meher Baba films in the Meher MediaLab in a warm and comfortable atmosphere.
The House of the Beloved is designed to invite those who know Meher Baba and need to know more. Once fully functional, it will open its doors to seekers everywhere. Our goal is to create a warm and welcoming space where we can develop an atmosphere to nurture real spiritual values as we all hold hands and traverse the spiritual path. To prepare ourselves, we need volunteers to help us re-house several thousand documents and input the scanned material in a powerful database, MeherMaster. This is a great opportunity to be of service to the Beloved. Please write to us if you wish to volunteer for a short or long period.
Khai Huynh prepares the French doors to the Beloved's Room
At this time a veteran web designer is working on an impressive new web site for Beloved Archives. This portal will be a complete repository of Meher Baba's life, work and teachings.
We have received several letters from Baba-lovers who have 'treasures' of Meher Baba and his close disciples - letters, locks of hair, signed copies of books, photographs and a range of artifacts. We are fully equipped to preserve and display them in the House of the Beloved. They will be displayed with your name as the donor of the artifact. Please consider Beloved Archives when you wish to donate any or all material associated with Meher Baba. They will be preserved, protected and shared.
A PLEDGE & COMMITMENT
Beloved Archives, an hour away from New York City, is located on a wooded plot of land, accessible by land and rail. The mission is simple: To preserve artifacts associated with the physical form of Meher Baba; to preserve documents, photographs, books, compact discs and films on the life and work of Meher Baba; and, most importantly, to share and make available all material related to Meher Baba's Life, Work and Teachings. It is open to people of all creeds, religions and faiths - and to seekers everywhere.
For this Archive to continue with preservation, publishing and sharing, we would like to invite you to PLEDGE $100 or more every 3 or 6 months to help us continue the work mandated by Meher Baba himself. We need your commitment, for NOW is the time to share Meher Baba's presence in our lives. Your commitment to this work will enable us to plan our initiatives for the next few years.
Beloved Archives is a non-profit, tax exempt 501[c]3 organization. Your donation is tax-exempt to the extent of the law. Feel free to write to
or call 609.838.9111 for information on how you can assist with work for the Beloved.
NEW ADDRESS Please note this new address:
Son Huynh paints the outer doors
of the House
BELOVED ARCHIVES, INC.
116 Youngs Road
Hamilton, NJ 08619