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The New Netherland Research Center

Part of a 1656 bill of lading, showing the logo of the West India Company, from the Van Rensselaer Manor Papers collection.

Opened to the public in November 2010, the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) is located in the New York State Research Library. It provides a permanent location where students, educators, scholars, and researchers worldwide can access translations of early Dutch colonial manuscripts and a vast library of early documents, books, and reference works that tell the fascinating story of the Dutch global reach during the American colonial period and its lasting impact on today's world. Researchers can discover this important chapter in American history: its legacy of cultural traditions; its qualities of tolerance, diversity, and entrepreneurship; and the tradition of a dynamic role for women. Through the NNRC, work begun by the Project is being expanded to encompass materials in collections around the globe.

Programs

The New Netherland Research Center offers:

  • Access by researchers, students, educators, and the general public to original source materials and translations of early Dutch documents and other resources of the Office of Cultural Education and other academic and research organizations related to New Netherland.
  • Collaborative opportunities, including programs, shared collections, publication partnerships, with academic institutions and other organizations.
  • Research and consulting services and support for those writing books, articles and dissertations related to New Netherland.
  • Fellowships and course-related experiences in partnership with academic and other research institutions in the study of the Dutch history of Colonial America.
  • Support for the New York State Education Department's P-16 efforts to promote the Dutch role in American colonial history, increasing awareness of the Dutch influence on our heritage among teachers and other educators.

About the New Netherland Research Center

Mission

The New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) promotes and supports scholarship and knowledge about the seventeenth-century Dutch colony of New Netherland in North America. It continues the work begun by the New York State Library's New Netherland Project to make the history of the Dutch colonial presence in North America available for study and research through preservation, transcription, translation, and digitization of the original 17th century documents and manuscripts of New Netherland in the collections of the New York State Library and State Archives.

  • Other upcoming projects include:
    • revising and updating A Guide to Dutch Manuscripts Relating to New Netherland in United States Repositories,
    • producing educational materials and programs, and
    • hosting exchange students and scholars.
  • Seminars and conferences, including the annual New Netherland Seminarexternal link continue to promote scholarship about the Dutch colonial presence in North America.
  • Publications, including the Annals of New Netherlandexternal link, published annually by the New Netherland Institute, continue to make current research on the Dutch presence in colonial North America accessible.

Leadership

Charles Gehring Janny Venema
Janny Venema and Charles Gehring

Director of the New Netherland Research Center and the New Netherland Project (NNP) Dr. Charles Gehring and Assistant Director and Dutch native Dr. Janny Venema have worked to translate and edit the surviving archival records of New Netherland for publication and to advance interest in the Dutch role in America's history. 

 

Origins

The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands.
The Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima
of the Netherlands

The New Netherland Research Center evolved from the New Netherland Project, which was established in 1974, under the sponsorship of the New York State Library, to transcribe, translate and publish historical Dutch documents.

The NNRC was established on the occasion of the visit of their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Orange and Princess Máxima of the Netherlands to the Cultural Education Center on September 8th, 2009. During the visit, the Dutch government presented the New Netherland Institute with a gift of support to establish a New Netherland Research Center and to allow the NNP to continue its work and create collaborative projects with the National Archives of the Netherlandsexternal link.

Last Updated: July 28, 2021