Since Bapak first traveled abroad in 1957, Subud members have realized the need for a Subud Archive. Members from all walks of life have devoted their time and effort to collect, maintain and care for Bapak’s audio recordings, photographs, films and correspondence as well as key documents and reports that tell the story of how Subud developed in the world.
In 1959 the first attempts were made to establish a Subud archive in New York and eight years later Bapak approved new plans to develop the archives. Subud Britain and Subud Germany played important roles at the time and collected many priceless resources.
By the late 1960s, several ISC (International Subud Committee) Tape Units around the world were collecting recorded talks for distribution and by 1976 this work merged into the Tape Preservation Unit in Belgium under Faisal Sillem. That same year, Bapak advised ISC directly to make sure archives were established to show the historical development of Subud.
Between the late 80s and early 90s dedicated global fundraising efforts helped establish the archive in Wisma Subud in Indonesia. In the mid 1990s, microfilm copies of materials from that archive were created and stored in several archives around the world.
During his lifetime, Bapak gave approximately 1,700 talks and of these only 1,316 are still in existence today. In June of 2011 an agreement was signed between MSF and WSA to digitize the original analogue tapes – they were in great danger of being lost forever due to deterioration.
The Foundation financed the initial cost of this project at USD 212,552.
In 1989, Ibu Siti Rahayu began giving regular talks to members around the world. These talks will also need to be catalogued and preserved.