NEW NETHERLAND RESEARCH CENTER
The People of NNP/NNRC
In 1974, Peter Christoph, a curator of historical manuscripts at the New York State Library, hired a recently-minted Ph.D. in German linguistics for a translation project. “It was the farthest thing from my mind to become a translator," said Dr. Gehring.
In November 2010, the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Library opened to the public. At the NNRC, students, educators, scholars and researchers can access translations of early Dutch colonial manuscripts and a vast collection of works that tell the fascinating story of the Dutch global reach during the American colonial period and its lasting impact on today’s world.
In 1974, the New Netherland Project began to translate and transcribe the 12,000 pages of Dutch-language administrative records from the archives of New Netherland, now in the collections of the New York State Archives and Albany County Hall of Records. The New Netherland Research Center continues this work.
Visiting the NNRC
The NNRC is on the 7th floor of the New York State Library in the Cultural Education Center at 222 Madison Ave in Albany, NY. In addition to research materials, the NNRC displays important documents in reproduction, such as the Schagen letter describing the Dutch “purchase” of Manhattan and the deed for Rensselaerswijck. Several prints by artist Len Tantillo depict scenes from New Netherland. The New York State Museum periodically exhibits New Netherland artifacts at the NNRC. For a listing of the books in the NNRC, visit the New York State Library catalog, then click on Power Search and select NETHERLAND from the "location:" drop-down menu. This collection does not circulate and must be used in the NNRC.
New Netherland Resources at the New York State Research Library
For over 35 years, the New York State Library has been the home of the New Netherland Project, which under the direction of Charles Gehring has been translating Dutch-era records held by the Library and the New York State Archives. Many of the Library’s New Netherland holdings are now consolidated in the NNRC.
NYSL Collections Related to the Dutch Colonial Period
Search the NYSL Catalog
New Netherland Project Collections
Over three decades, the Project accumulated articles, monographs and other published and unpublished materials related to the Dutch in the New World and the 17th century in general. These materials have been cataloged in a Citations Database and researchers can now access them at the NNRC. Search the Citations Database to see what’s available.
The Schiltkamp Collection
In 2011, Jacob Adriaan Schiltkamp’s wife and children donated his holdings of 600 books and rare print materials relating to the 17th-century Caribbean and the Dutch in the Atlantic World to the New York State Library. The collection includes the original records from Petrus Stuyvesant’s tenure as director of Curaçao. Many of the books are available at the NNRC. Rare books and historic documents can be accessed in the Rare Book Room of the Library.
New York State Archives and New York State Museum
The NYS Archives and the NYS Museum are co-located with the Library in the Cultural Education Center. The Archives holds the official records of New Netherland, the world’s largest collection of original documents related to the West India Company and its New World colonies, the source material for the New Netherland Project translations. The Museum's extensive Dutch-era collections include artifacts from the upper Hudson Valley and New Amsterdam.