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Collection 078 Papers of Corrie ten Boom

Identifier: CN 078

Scope and Contents

Papers of Dutch watchmaker, evangelist, author, and Christian aid worker Corrie ten Boom. The collection includes information on her father Casper ten Boom, her imprisonment in Ravensbrück concentration camp during World War II, her work among refugees after the war, her travels as an evangelist, the work of her two foundations, and the production of the film The Hiding Place. The collection includes audio tapes, correspondence, a film, notebooks, photos, photo albums, and video tapes.


  • Created: 1902-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1902 - 1983

Conditions Governing Access

Folder 1-2 has copies of the correspondence in Dutch between Corrie and her sister Nollie and others when Corrie was imprisoned in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Some of these letters have written or typed transcripts in Dutch and/or English, origins unknown. The very frailty and cheapness of the paper and ink of the originals underline the extreme difficulty of life in the camps, which eventually took the life of Corrie's father and sister Betsie. Because of the fragile nature of these documents, the originals cannot be used by researchers, and the contents of folder 1-2 are photocopies.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Biographical or Historical Information

Note: A major resource for this biography was "The Ten Boom Family Time Line" a appendix in Pam Rosewell Moore's Life Lessons form the Hiding Place (2004)

Full Name: Cornelia Arnolda Johanna ten Boom, generally known as "Corrie"

Birth: April 15, 1892, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Death: April 15, 1983, in Placentia, California, USA


Parents: Casper and Cornelia "Cor" Johanna Arnolda (Luitingh) ten Boom

Siblings: Elizabeth (Betsie), Willem, Hendrick Jan (died in infancy), Arnold Johanna (Nollie)

Marital Status: Single


1918 Attended a Bible school in Haarlem. Failed final exam but later received her diploma

1920 Served an apprenticeship as a watchmaker in Basel Switzerland


1897 Give her life to Jesus Christ

1911 Worked briefly as a governess

1916 Brother Willem was ordained a pastor and married Tine Van Veen

1919 Sister Nollie married Frederick "Flip" van Woerden

October 17, 1921 Mother died.

1921-1944 Worked in the family watchmaking and repair business with her father. In 1924, she becomes the Netherlands first licenced woman watchmaker.

1925-1944 The ten Boom's became a foster family to a long series of refugee children, missionary kids, and orphans. The family was also deeply involved in Christian work in Holland, including ministry to the Jews.

1920s-1940 Corrie led Bible classes in public schools and taught Sunday school and organized and ran a network of clubs, first for girls and then for both girls and boys under the sponsorship of the Union des Amies de la Jeune Fille. The girls' clubs became Girl Guide clubs, with Corrie as one of the leaders of the movement in Holland. Later, because she felt the clubs were losing their Christian emphasis, she formed De Nederlandse Meisjesclubs (The Dutch Girls Club) and continued to lead these until the occupation, when the Germans forbid group meetings.

1941-1944 Motivated by their Christian faith, the ten Boom family began to help and hide people in danger of arrest by the Gestapo. (The Netherlands had been invaded and occupied by the German army in 1940.) They lived in hiding in a secret room 60 by 240 centimeters (roughly 2 feet deep a little less than 8 feet wide) in the ten Boom's shop and home on Barteljorisstraat in Haarlem (known to the family as the Beje and which the family had owned since 1849) for varying periods of time. Many of these were Jews, fleeing Nazi racial laws. A number of the ten Boom's friends and relatives worked with them and they had contacts with the Dutch underground resistance. Corrie's sister, Nollie van Woerden, was discovered harboring Jews and arrested in 1943. Corrie, after pleading with numerous officials, found a sympathetic doctor who arranged for her release. Willem's son Kik was arrested for his work in the resistance. He was sent to Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp, which was later overrun by the Russian army. Prisoners in the camp were then sent to a labor camp in Russia, where he died.

February 29, 1944 The Gestapo raided the Beje on February 28, 1944, and Corrie, Betsie, Willem, Nollie, Casper, Nollie's son Peter, and dozens of other people were arrested during the raid. The six people in the secret room in the Beje, however, escaped detection and were later able to leave unseen. Corrie was separated from her family, including her father, whom she never saw again. All the family members were imprisoned in Scheveningen prison.

March 9-10, 1944 Caspar ten Boom died in captivity. Willem was incarcerated at Scheveningen but shortly after was freed through the intervention of a friendly judge. Nollie and Peter, too, were soon let go.

June 5, 1944 Corrie and Betsie were reunited in a prison transport which brought them to the concentration camp Vught. Later they were sent to concentration camp Ravensbruck in Germany. The sisters maintained their witness among the horrors of the camps.

December 16, 1944 Betsie died of starvation and ill-treatment.

December 30, 1944 Corrie was freed, through an apparent administrative error.

1945 Managed to go to Groningen in Holland, where she recovered for a while in a rest home. She was then taken by truck to Willem's home in Hilversum and from there back to the Beje. She began to tell small groups of what she had seen in prison and how God had answered prayer.

May 1945 She rented a house in Bloemendaal, the Netherlands, which was called Schapendunien, and made it into a home for disabled people and ex-prisoners from the concentration camps. She continued to be associated with this work until 1966.

June 1945 Her book Gevangene en toch... herrinneringen uit Scheveningen, Vught, en Ravensbruck about her wartime experiences was published by Ten Have Jaar of Amsterdam. This was the first of many books about God's love, His work in the world and her own life and faith. From now on, writing was a significant part of her ministry

December 13, 1945 Brother Willem dies.

1945 A nonprofit corporation in the Netherlands, called the Ten Boom Foundation (reorganized ca. 1960 and renamed as the Corrie ten Boom Stichting), was created which served as a repository for those who wanted to give gifts to her ministry. The Stichting also supported the Schapendunien and ran the museum that was eventually set up in the Beje.

1946 Began to feel that God wanted her to go to the United States. She crossed the Atlantic on a freighter. Once she had arrived in the United States, she gradually met people, such as Abraham Vereide, Torrey Johnson, and J. Edwin Orr, who were impressed by her story and arranged for her to speak to churches, Bible study groups, and conferences. She is in North America for ten months.

1947 Started to become a well-known speaker and evangelist in Protestant circles in western Europe. She went to went to Germany, where she provided assistance to refugees. The vitality and reality of her faith made a vivid impact not only on her audiences, but also on those whom she met and worked with on a personal basis. During the 1940s and 1950s, her travels were sponsored in part by the International Council of Christian Leadership, headed by Abraham Vereide.

1947 A Prisoner—And Yet! was published. It was an expanded English version of Gevangene en toch….

March 26-29, 1947 Attended (as the Dutch delegate) the conference of European Youth for Christ delegates that helped lay the foundation for YFC work in western Europe. Corrie often spoke at YFC rallies in Europe and the United States in the 1940s and 1950s. During those years her travels were sponsored in part by the International Council of Christian Leadership.

August 10-22, 1948 Met Billy Graham and Cliff Barrows at the Youth for Christ World Congress held in Beatenburg, Switzerland

1949 Raised money for the rental of Darmstadt, Germany concentration camp and led a group that turned it into another place for displaced persons and ex-prisoners to recover from the traumas suffered in the war. She continued to be associated with Darmstadt and to raise money for it until 1960, when the camp closed.

1950s-1970s In the 1950's, she became a world traveler in earnest. Eventually she would visit, speak and preach in sixty-four countries, sometimes as part of the Revival Fellowship Team of J. Edwin Orr, usually on her own. Among the countries she visited were Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Borneo, Canada, Chile, Czechoslovakia, Formosa, England, Ethiopia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Uganda, United States, and Vietnam.

1953 Her book Amazing Love was published

October 22, 1953 Sister Nollie died

1954 Receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

1957 Common Sense Not Needed: Some Thoughts About an Unappreciated Work Among Neglected People was published. The booklet described her experiences sharing her faith and worshiping with mentally handicapped people.

1958 Began distributing to supporters a small newsletter on her activities. It was called Hallo Freunde in German, and It's Harvest Time (later The Hiding Place) in English.

March 20, 1958 Baptized at the Carey Baptist Church in Calcutta, India

1959 Viele Fragen? Nur Eine Antwort! was published.

1960 Met the first of her traveling companions, Connie van Hoogstraten, who traveled with her to help with arrangements and to serve as a friend and confidante. In 1967, Connie married Lykle Hoogerzeil

1960 Became friends with Billy Graham and his wife Ruth. This was the start of an increasingly close relationship.

April 17, 1962 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands makes Corrie a Knight inthe Order Oranje-Nassau..

1962 Defeated Enemies was published.

1963 Not Good if Detached was published.

September 1964-October 1965 She took a year off in Germany, Switzerland, and Uganda to rest and conserve her strength after being diagnosed with hepatitis.

1966 Im Hem Gebargen was published.

October 26-November 4, 1966 Attended and spoke at the World Congress on Evangelism, held in West Berlin, Germany

1967 Jesus ist Sieger and Plenty for Everyone are published.

1967-1976 Ellen de Kroon became Corrie's helper and companion until Ellen married Robert Stamps, chaplain of Oral Roberts University.

February 28, 1968 Asked by the state of Israel to plant a tree in the Garden of the Righteous in the Yad Vashem (Holocaust Memorial)

1969 Marching Orders for the End Battle was published

1970 Her health became increasing frail. She became ill and spend six months recovering.

November, 1971 The Hiding Place, a retelling of her wartime experiences written in collaboration with John and Elizabeth Sherrill, was published.

June 9, 1975 Bill Brown, president of World Wide Pictures, the film arm of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, announces plans to film The Hiding Place

Ca. 1973 Christians, Inc. was incorporated in the state of California, in the United States, to receive gifts to her ministry and to help her with the flood of requests for help and appearances which she received.

1974 Tramp for the Lord was published

July 16-25, 1974 Attended and spoke (July 21) at the International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland

September 29, 1975 World Wide Pictures premieres the film of The Hiding Place in Houston, Texas, USA. The premier had been planned for the previous day in Hollywood, but had to be cancelled when some one set off a tear gas canister in the theater. Both the film and book became immensely popular, especially among Protestant Evangelicals in the United States.

1975 The Beje opens as a museum.

1975 Corrie ten Boom's Prison Letters was published.

April 23, 1976 Receives an honorary Doctor of Humnane Letters degree from Gordon College in the United States.

1976 In My Father's House: The Years Before The Hiding Place was published.

1976 Pam Rosewell became Corrie's helper and companion for the rest of Corrie's life.

1977 He Cares, He Comforts and He Sets the Captives Free were published.

1977 Rented a home in Placentia, California and in the same year received permanent status in the United States as a resident alien. By this time, she no longer did any extensive traveling because of her health. She had an operation this year and received a pacemaker for her heart.

1978 A Tramp Finds a Home; Don't Wrestle, Just Nestle; and Father ten Boom, God's Man, her last books, were published.

1978 World Wide Pictures released a film about her life, entitled Corrie: The Lives She Has Touched. She herself appeared in the film.

August 23, 1978 Suffered a stroke, the first of several, and, although she made some recovery, she lost her power of speech and of most movement. She was assisted during her illness by Pam Rosewell, Lotte Reimeringer, and others

1979 This Day is the Lord's was published.

1982 Clippings From My Notebook was published

April 22, 1983 Memorial service. She is buried in Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana, California, United States.


4.13 Cubic Feet

5 Boxes, Audio Tapes, Films, Negatives, Oversize Materials, Photo Albums, Photographs, Video Tapes

Language of Materials


Dutch; Flemish

Arrangement of Material

[Note: In the Arrangement section, the notation folder "2-5" means "box 2, Folder 5"]

Paper Records

Arrangement: Alphabetical by folder title

Date Range: 1917-1983, n.d.

Volume: 2.15 Cubic Feet

boxes: 5

Geographic coverage: Netherlands, Germany, United States

Type of documents: Annual reports, correspondence, guest books, negatives, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, passports, photos, photo albums, poster, publications

Correspondents: Betsie ten Boom, Corrie ten Boom, Nollie ten Boom van Woerden, Bob & Bobbie Holiday

Subjects: Evangelism

Notes: There are a few items on the ten Boom family and Corrie's life before World War II, but most of the material is about her experiences in the Ravensbruck concentration camp during World War II and her work after the war as an evangelistic speaker in many different parts of the world. The arrangement and labeling of folders was supplied by the archivist. Over half of the material in the collection came from the foundation set up in Holland to support her work, but the contents of folders 1-5 through 2-5 and much of the contents of 3-6 and 3-8 through 3-10 came from Andrew Van der Bijl, who served on the boards of both her Dutch and American foundations. The Dallas Baptist University gave notebooks (folders 4-5 through 4-11) and miscellaneous materials belonging to Corrie.

Exceptional items: There are several documents from Corrie's pre-war life. These include photos, photo albums of the ten Boom family (described in the Location Records found elsewhere in this guide), a manuscript by her father in Dutch about the watchmaking trade (folder 3-7) and the spiritual life of his family (folder 3-2). Other documents deal with her and her family's efforts to save Jews during World War II and the punishment they suffered for it. There are several pictures in the photo file of the secret bunker later called the Hiding Place where refugees were hidden and of the people who hid there. Folder 1-2 has copies of the correspondence in Dutch between Corrie and her sister Nollie and others when Corrie was imprisoned in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Some of these letters have written or typed transcripts in Dutch and/or English, origins unknown. The very frailty and cheapness of the paper and ink of the originals underline the extreme difficulty of life in the camps, which eventually took the life of Corrie's father and sister Betsie. (NOTE: Because of the fragile nature of the records, the materials in folder 1-2 are copies. The originals are stored elsewhere and cannot be used.)

Corrie's work after the war assisting displaced persons and later traveling the world as an evangelist is also documented in the collection. Some of this is touched on in her letters to her sister Nollie (folder 1-4) as well as other letters that touch on her work in Taiwan, New Zealand, and South Africa (folder 1-3). Folder 3-3 has some of her miscellaneous notes with sermon illustrations, quotes, and random thoughts. Similar, although later, material can be found in folder 3-4. Folder 3-5 has a selection of her passports. Apart from this material, there is not too much in the collection on the very early years of her postwar work. She published a small newsletter to keep her supporters and friends informed about her travels and folders 3-6, 3-8, 3-9, and 3-11 contain incomplete runs in German, English, and Spanish. The bulk of the remaining material (folders 1-6 to 2-5) consists of records of her two foundations. She early established a small non-profit foundation in Holland to serve as a repository for gifts that people wanted to give to her work, This foundation was called the Corrie ten Boom Stichting. In late 1973 or early 1974, Christians Inc. was set up in the state of California. Correspondence, minutes and reports in these files deal with relations between the two corporations, the development and impact of The Hiding Place (first as a book and then as a World Wide Pictures film), the cooperation and friendship between Corrie and Bible smuggler Brother Andrew, Corrie's speaking engagements around the world, finances and budgets of the corporations, various Christian endeavors supported by the foundations, and Corrie's final illness and death. The Dutch foundation maintained the ten Boom home in Haarlem as a kind of museum and folders 2-6 to 3-1 contain the guestbooks of these museums. They contain fascinating glimpses into the reactions of many people to Corrie's life and work.

Original letters of Corrie (folder 4-3) wrote to Bob and Bobby Holiday of Canada and a postcard written in Dutch by Betsie ten Boom (folder 4-1) have been removed from the folders and stored elsewhere and replaced with photocopies. In Corrie's letter of July 15, 1946 she talks about her meetings in the United States and mentions she wished there was a school like Moody Bible Institute in Europe, on August 10, 1950 she tells Bobby "How dark is it in the world! But how good is it to know that Jesus comes back soon" on Corrie's sixtieth birthday she wrote "...I was four days in Honolulu where I spoke 16 times. A time of great blessing. And I was not tired at all. Is not the Lord good? Now I am waiting trying to find out where the Lord has a room for me..."

Corries notebooks (folders 4-5 through 4-11) of various sizes contain handwritten notes in English and Dutch of scripture study notes which possibly were used in messages she gave. In folder 4-11 there are forty-eight loose pages (which have been photocopies and the originals stored elsewhere) of her notes which might have been used in her talks or publications. On pages 46-48 there is an interesting story of a young Christian African boy who was shot by rebels. One notebook in folder 4-6 in entitled Analyze Billy Graham's Talks.

Miscellaneous items (folder 5-4) include Corrie's baptismal certificate from the Carey Baptist Church in Calcutta, India dated March 20, 1958, her U.S. Alien Registration Receipt Card, and a copy of her death certificate, her New Testament and Psalms (folder 4-4) contains some handwritten notes on the margins and back cover, a large poster size Lausanne Covenant signed by Corrie (OS 14), a Dutch daily Scripture journal with Dutch handwritten notes of birthdays and anniversaries of ten Boom family and friends with the following notation for May 18th "C. A. J. Luitingh 1858, C. ten Boom, 1859" her parents, and four black and white drawings of Ravensbruck concentration camp drawn by a fellow prisoner and used in Corrie's first book, A Prisoner and Yet (folder 5-2). The drawings are entitled "Church Service Kerkdienst," "Feeble-Minded Zwakzinnigen," "Not enough space to sit up en geen ruimte," and "Night roll call nachtelijk appel." There are dozens of newspaper and magazine clippings about Corrie ten Boom's meetings and ministry throughout the world in OS14.

Audio Visual Materials

Arrangement: Chronological

Date Range: 1966-1997, n.d.

Volume: 1.45 Cubic Feet

Geographic coverage: Vietnam, United States

Type of documents: Audio tapes, film, video tapes

Subjects: Christian living, evangelism, refugees

Notes: There are fifty-five audio tapes in this collection mostly containing messages by Corrie ten Boom. Six of the tapes have testimonies or messages by Corrie's companions Ellen de Kroon (T22, T43, T44, T52) and Pamela Rosewell Moore (T25, T55). There is one film (F1) describing the work that World Vision was doing in Vietnam in 1968 including the dedication of World Vision Saigon headquarters. All but two (V12, V15) of the twenty-seven video tapes in this collection contain messages or interviews of Corrie ten Boom.

Exceptional items: There are two series of audio tapes message by Corrie. The Freedom From Bondage series of five audio tapes (T 4, T5, T7, T8, T9) and a series of seven messages (T10-T16) she gave at a church in Chandler, Arizona, in May 1966. Another series of five tapes (T 48-T 52) each containing a short biography of Corrie followed by a message by her. Tape T 1 contains a message from Corrie ten Boom to visitors to the Beje in Haarlem, Holland. She tells about her life there, her family's experiences during World War II, and how God has maintained her during her life. Side two contains a message in English by Corrie ten Boom to all those who read the book The Hiding Place or saw the movie. She talks about the faithfulness of God and the need for forgiveness.

Video tape V13 entitled "World Wide Pictures Presents Corrie ten Boom" describes the life of Corrie and includes clips for the film The Hiding Place. V15 is a short report of the death of Corrie ten Boom on Channel 4 News (Los Angeles?), V12 is a copy of the 700 Club program on which Corrie appeared in 1977, and V12 "Oral Roberts and You" contains an interview of Oral and Evelyn Roberts about the death of their daughter and son-in-law.

Accruals and Additions

The materials in this collection were given to the Billy Graham Center Archives by the Corrie Ten Boom Stichting of Holland in May 1984, by Andrew van der Bijl in April 1986, October 1989 and January 1990, by Larry Thompson from Brother Andrew via Paul Snezek in September 1989, by the Dallas Baptist University in May 2003, and by Pam Moore in June 2003.

Accession 84-61, 86-35, 89-94

December 30, 1986

Robert Shuster

M. Wohlschlegel

J. Nasgowitz

Accession 89-110, 90-12, 03-31, 03-40

December 15, 2010

Wayne D. Weber

A. Thomas

Acc. 11-30

July 14, 2011

Bob Shuster

Collection 078 Papers of Corrie ten Boom
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US