NEW NETHERLAND SEMINAR
September 20, 2014 at the Carole F. Huxley Theater, Cultural Education Center, Albany, NY: "1614"
The 37th New Netherland Seminar, “1614,” took place in the Carole Huxley Theater of the Cultural Education Center in Albany N.Y. The program commemorated the 400th anniversary of the construction of Fort Nassau on Castle Island in the Port of Albany. Presentations provided a broad perspective on current knowledge about the Dutch in the New World, including evidence of the location of Fort Nassau, relations with Native Americans, the impact of English influence in neighboring New England, French colonial activities, and how investigations of 17th Century Dutch fortifications in Brazil cast light on defensive structures and activities in New Netherland.
Following the seminar, Director of the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Library in Albany, Dr. Charles Gehring commented, “The growth in knowledge over the past few decades about the Dutch in the New World is impressive. But the more we know, the more there is to be investigated.”
Full brochure here.
The first Rensselaerswijck Seminar was held by the New Netherland Project in 1979. The Project was five years old. Without secure funding, it was imperiled by sporadic support and low visibility. It needed to go public. The Seminar was one step to spread the word about its work and about New Netherland in general.
More than three decades later, the New Netherland Project has transformed into the New Netherland Research Center. In 2013 the NNRC and the New Netherland Institute held the 36th annual event, now renamed the New Netherland Seminar.
Each Seminar centers around a common theme. Recent examples include “The Dutch on the Delaware: New Netherland’s South River,” “The Company Strikes Back: 1673 Recovery of New Netherland, ” and the most recent seminar in 2013, "The Dutch Revolt and New Netherland." Over one to two days, speakers from the United States and abroad present papers on aspects of that year’s theme. Dr. Charles Gehring, Director of the New Netherland Research Center (and formerly of the New Netherland Project) moderates the event. The New Netherland Dinner and frequently a field trip to explore local historic sites accompany the Seminar.
Albany has been the most common place for Seminars, with occasional visits to other locales. The 2011 Seminar was held in Delaware and focused on the Dutch experience in that area. The 2012 Seminar was held at the Mabee Farm in Schenectady, NY. The New-York Historical Society in Manhattan hosted the 2013 Seminar.