The difficulty in finding literature about Nias is clearly an obstacle for students who try to conduct research about Nias. The Nias Heritage Foundation operates a Library specializing in books related to the culture, history and heritage of Nias Island. There are also a range of other useful and interesting books. The Museum library is open to the public and has become an important point of reference for local students and visiting researchers.
Georg Martin Hämmerle, better known as Pastor Johannes, arrived in Nias in 1971. He became very interested in Nias culture and also concerned that a lot of knowledge about local heritage was disappearing. Through his work of recording information about local culture he has published many books about Nias. He is also often sought out by people who want to ask him for specific information about Nias culture.
Pastor Johannes also collected and compiled literature about Nias written a hundred, even several hundreds of years ago, such as articles or letters written by Dutch colonials and early missionaries. Some of this literature is original and other documents are photocopies. They are now kept at the library available(on request) to anyone who wants to learn about Nias history and culture. Previously researcher, students and tourists always had trouble finding information about Nias. To address this issue and assist the community, the Nias Heritage Foundation established a dedicated library in conjunction to the museum. Initially the library collections were stored away, and most of the copies were in German language. Eventually the documents and books were made available to the public when the library was opened. Today the library contains many titles in English and Indonesian language.
The number of books in the library continues to grow. The collection is not limited to books about Nias but also contains many titles on topics related to culture that can be helpful to the local community. Right now there are 1130 titles. There are some 330 books about Nias.
Anyone can become a member and take advantage of the library. New members are required to donate one book or pay membership dues which are Rp 25,000 for students and Rp 30.000 for the general public.
To protect the collection and avoid books being lost and damaged, visitors are not allowed to take books out of the library. Books and articles may be photocopied onsite. The library is open Monday - Friday during normal business hours (8 am - 5 pm).
This library has become a popular public facility, especially for local students. If you are looking for information about Nias Island and its culture, please come see us!