Jan Šetek and type foundry PangudiLuhur Part 2

Jurgen-Wegner-Post-PictureA few weeks ago I received and posted Jürgen Wegner’s article about Jan Šetek and type foundry PangudiLuhur. (you can read it here) I was quite fascinated by the story and shortly after posting it on the site, I woke up at 5:30 AM and started searching on the internet for some clues and/or leads. That morning I collected various links, snippets, notes, and pictures to create an article about it.

Well now that I have some spare time on my hands I’m able to go over the notes I made that morning and let you know what I’ve found out about this type foundry. (at least, that’s what I think it is)

First off let’s see what the packing tells us;


This is as good as it gets. The image of the packing material has been put into an MSWord file, thus the quality of the image is not all that much. But good enough to read it and to start my search.

The first time I saw the packing sleeves I immediately noticed some words are in Dutch language.

In the bottom section we read: Huruf, Type, Corps and Bevat Berat. Now, Huruf isn’t a Dutch word but the rest can be read as Dutch words:

  • Type = means what sort of type
  • Corps = type height
  • Bevat Berat = weight of content

*28-7-2018 Correction: as stated by Bro Teguh in the comments; “I think the word BEVAT is BERAT, it is an Indonesian word that means weight (all of the packaging)”, I’ve changed this. Thus the list is not in Dutch language but in the Indonesian Language. 

When we let Google Translate translate the word Huruf we see that it means Letter (translated to Dutch), or Alphabet (directly translated to English). So, from top to bottom this package contained the Times New Roman alphabet, behind Type there is some handwritten text and we read the word vet, which is Dutch for bold. Behind Corps we read 16pt, thus the type height is 16 points. The last line reads 2500 Kg. But this can’t be right now, could it? The 2500 tells us probably that the package contained 2500 grams instead of kilograms, which would be more likely. 

On the right side of the label, we see three small boxes saying: serie letter, serie nummer and controle from top to bottom. The first box means from which series the letters comes from, the second tells us the serial number and the last tells us if the package is checked before wrapping it up and is signed with the initials of the person who checked it.

Now the top section; we already know that Huruf means letter or alphabet. When we translate Penuangan we see that it translate itself to Pouring (translated to English) and Gieterij (translated to Dutch). The English word for Gieterij is Foundry. So Penuangan Huruf means Letter Foundry or Type Foundry if you wish.

The Second line says: Pangudi Luhur. If we try to translate this the word Pangudi doesn’t show anything except the fact that it has a lot to do with schools. Luhur means glorious or grand, like Jürgen Wegner said before in his summary. Somewhere I’ve read that Luhur means High. So maybe we can translate Pangudi Luhur to High School, but I’m not all to sure about that. All we know for sure it has something to do with schools. If we search on Google for it we come up with a link to Wikipedia showing SMA Pangudi Luhur which is a male-only, Catholic high school, established in 1965 in South Jakarta. SMA translates itself to high school. Let’s park this whole school thing for now and continue our search;

If we search for Penuangan Huruf Pengudi Luhur on Google we get some results already. Let’s pick the first one right at the top of the list. (link) It leads us to some sort of blog page on www.aikon.org. Right there on that page we immediately see that we’re on the right track, namely in the very first sentence we read “Johannes Gutenberg (1428)”. So we must be on the right track here regarding print. I’ve translated the text on the page to English to see what it says and found out it’s a historical article about how Muntilan became an important ‘type foundry city’ in 1963 after it a has taken over a type foundry from the city called Semarang. This was all done by so-called ‘brothers’. (From which I later discovered they were Jesuits.) What’s important about this article is that it says that the foundry has been taken over by what is now called The Pangudi Luhur Foundation. But if we read back to where it says Muntilan, we also see this name on the package of type we are working with. So this is great, isn’t it!? Now we can continue our search.

If we let Google search on The Pangudi Luhur Foundation we end up on the Brothers FIC webpage. Okay, so there we have some more ‘brothers’; but if we were to open this page, there we can read the following sentence right at the bottom of the page: Since the twenties there had been an exceptional enterprise at Yogyakarta, namely the Kanisius Printing Press, to which later a type-foundry was added. Could this be the type foundry we are looking for? Maybe. Let’s go and look for this so called Kanisius Printing Press. 

When I Googled a bit I found this site. Looks like Kanisius is still in business after all that time. When we read the ‘about page’ is says: On January 26, 1922nd in Yogyakarta Indonesia, a printing house was established named Canisius Drukkerij. It was the earliest offset printing house in Indonesia.After Indonesia’s Independence Day, the Indonesian government trusted Canisius Drukkerij to print ORI, Oeang Republik Indonesia, or the Indonesian currency at that time. Since then, Canisius Drukkerij became a leading learning and training place for printing and publishing. Canisius Drukkerij, for over 90 years was known as Kanisius Printing & Publishing House.Together with Kanisius schools that was supported by the Kanisius Foundation, Kanisius Printing & Publishing House participates in educating Indonesian people by its services. However, Kanisius’ existence and development cannot be separated from the Indonesian Catholic Church. On January 1st, 2014, Kanisius Printing & Publishing House transformed into Kanisius Ltd.

If we dig a little deeper we find this page. On this page, we find this piece of text (translated with Google translate from Indonesian to English: CANISIUS DRUKKERIJ, further known as Kanisi Publisher-Printing, stood on January 26, 1922 at the initiative of Superior Mission Pastor J. Hoeberechts, SJ. Beginning with a small printing press that prints books for the benefit of Church worship and educational books to meet the needs of the indigenous schoolchildren in Yogyakarta and beyond, Kanisius grew into publishing and printing with its spreading territory stretching from Sumatra to Papua. Not really knowing what to look for next I went on youtube and found an informative film about Canisius Drukkerij. You can find it here. In this film there are some still images in which we find the 1922 Canisius Drukkerij.

In search of more information, I typed in Muntilan in Wikipedia. The Dutch Wikipedia came up with the following line in its text: The Jesuits spent a long time in Muntilan before the second war and founded a school and a seminary there. Known was Xaverius College, a monastery and school complex located at the current Jalang Kartini. But wait…..Jalang Kartini? If you would shorten this it would be Jl. Kartini right? That’s the address stated on the package!!

So we’ve found our lost type foundry. At last. But that’s not all there is to tell about the Xaverius College and the Canisius Drukkerij. There are loads more.  One involves the tragic death of 140 people, but I’m going to tell you that story later on in part III.

Last update 28-7-2018



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