Beloved Archives is a universal spiritual archive functioning in the United States under Meher Baba’s mandate of helping God-seekers everywhere to live the life of divine love, selfless service and spiritual unity. Those who aspire to realize God through love, come to the archive to learn about Meher Baba’s life, work and teachings.
What is the mission of Beloved Archives?
The sole mission of Beloved Archives is to carefully restore and preserve all material associated with the life, work and teachings of Avatar Meher Baba and, more importantly, to make all this material accessible to seekers worldwide. Beloved Archives is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt foundation registered in the United States. Although many of the artifacts associated with Meher Baba’s life and work, were originally given to the Nalavala family by Meher Baba and his close disciples for their personal collection, the items are now housed in Beloved Archives in Hamilton, New Jersey.
What types of items are in the collection?
Essentially, Beloved Archives functions under five broad categories: documents, photographs, tapes, films and artifacts:
Most of the documents have been scanned, although rehousing of the documents still needs to be done. This we should be able to accomplish with an infusion of funds from donors and the assistance of volunteers. The document collection comprises of letters, discourses, cables and historical articles. Additionally, the collection features clippings about Meher Baba from 1932 onwards. We believe we have every book by and about Meher Baba at Beloved Archives. Our Rare Manuscript section includes diaries of Meher Baba’s early disciples.
From the time that Meher Baba’s sister Mani S. Irani sent us in 1966 an album of photographs of Meher Baba as Merwan, we have collected hundreds of photographs from all over the world. Mansari Desai, an early disciple, donated all her albums of photographs to Beloved Archives and we have been featuring some rare photographs in issues of Glow International. We are proud to store in our collection photographs taken in 1894, the year of Meher Baba’s birth, by Raja Deen Dayal, India’s first Indian photographer. Most of the photographs have been scanned for easy retrieval.
The tapes, largely donated by Pete Townshend, have been digitized and uploaded for easy listening onto our hard drives. The recording of these hi-quality tapes of Meher Baba’s close disciples in Mandali Hall in Meherazad was assigned by Pete and later mastered at Meher Baba Oceanic in London. Over the years several older followers of Meher Baba, since passed on, have donated their tapes and other artifacts to Beloved Archives. Most recently we were beneficiaries of the Lisa Sandford Document and Artifacts Collection, a close associate of Elizabeth Patterson and Kitty Davy.
Beloved Archives hosts a large collection of films by and about Meher Baba that visitors can watch in the comfort of our MediaLab. Those who donated reel-to-reel and VHS films, we have converted to DVD or MP4, both film formats. Sufism Reoriented has over the years donated hi-quality films of Meher Baba and videos of the mandali. The Beloved Archives film collection has all the videos that filmmaker Irwin Luck shot of his interviews with Meher Baba’s disciples the world over
Beloved Archives has a wide-range of artifacts that Meher Baba had worn and used during his lifetime; coats, sandals, alphabet boards, strands of his hair and a list of artifacts too long to enumerate. Hazrat Babajan’s lock of hair is one of our prized possessions on display. All of Meher Baba’s artifacts have been carefully restored, rehoused and preserved. We also collaborate with other Archives on a regular basis. We have received material from India and have earmarked certain artifacts from the Nalavala family collection to be shared with the Trust for display at Meherabad. Beloved Archives has recently rehoused Meher Baba’s coat, now on display at the Centre in London. While we share material from Beloved Archives, we welcome material for sharing from other Archives.