Online Publications

The New Netherland Institute is making available digitized versions of translations and transcriptions of documents relating to New Netherland. Written in an archaic hand, these seventeenth-century documents were damaged by fire and water, but they are our best source of knowledge about the former Dutch colony. Available on this website are government records held by the New York State Archives, private and corporate papers from the collections of the New York State Library, and selected documents from other repositories. Scanned originals of many of these documents are available on the websites of the New York State Archives and New York State Library. 

Please direct any questions about the publications here.

If you would like to support the continued improvement of and additiions to the Online Publications, please consider donating.


For a full text search of all the translations linked from this page, visit here.


Guides and Finding Aids
Guide to Dutch Manuscripts Relating to New Netherland is a catalog of primary source material located in repositories throughout the United States. The purposes of the Guide are to 1) describe relevant documents and collections and 2) provide researchers with their location. Originally compiled in 1977 and 1978 by Dr. Charles Gehring, the Guide was updated in 2010–2012.

This compilation of the introductions to the New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch / New Netherland Documents series translations contains 13 introductions and allows researchers to quickly acquaint themselves with the content of these publications.
• Introductions

The Annotated Bibliography of New Netherland Archeology in Rensselaer and Albany Counties, New York summarizes the contents of written resources concerning archeological finds related to Dutch colonial occupation and settlement during the 17th and 18th centuries in Rensselaer and Albany Counties, New York. 

The Annotated Bibliography of the Archaeology of the Delaware River Valley highlights archaeological research related to the Middle and Lower Delaware River Valley (at and below Trenton, NJ), and encompassing the present-day states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

The Simon Hart Chronology represents summaries of notarial records relating to New Netherland located in the Municipal Archives of Amsterdam. In the 1650s the notaries of Amsterdam were directed, upon retirement or for other reasons, to deposit their protocols in the municipal archives for safekeeping. Simon Hart, during his tenure as chief archivist, spent his free time in the “Depot” of the archives, searching through the protocols The for references to New Netherland. His findings were typed onto cards which were eventually microfilmed. In 2018, the NYSA had the cards digitized for use of researchers. The information on the cards contains anything that would have required sworn testimony before a notary, such as last wills and testaments, witness testimony, contracts, powers of attorney etc.  The link above takes you to a google drive where the cards may be downloaded.  This link takes you to the New York State Library's interface with the same cards.

The Engel Sluiter Historical Documents Collection at the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library is an accumulation of research notes and transcriptions of historical documents from archives throughout Europe and Latin America, made between approximately 1930-2001 by Engel Sluiter, former Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley, who was of Dutch origin. Subjects range from Dutch, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese voyages to the Americas, imperial finances between the later sixteenth and first half of the seventeenth centuries, Dutch voyages during the early 17th century, shipping records, the Dutch presence in North America, the Caribbean and Brazil, the transatlantic slave trade, the Newfoundland fisheries, and the Dutch Arctic exploration and whaling.

The Ulster County Archives Dutch Records Index is an index to the English translations of the Dutch court records of Wiltwyck 1661-1709. The index was first published by the Albany County Board of Supervisors c. 1900. In 2002, the data was entered into a text searchable database by the Ulster County Archives. In 2008 a new field was added to present the entries in their entirety. These records are the earliest court and land records of Ulster County.

From the Collections of the New York State Archives

The New Netherland Institute is grateful to the New York State Archives for allowing us to link to the images in their collection.  We are also grateful to the Holland Society, which holds the copyright of the translations of New Netherland Documents at the New York State Archives, for permission to reproduce the translations here.

Volumes I–III, Register of the Provincial Secretary, 1638–1660, containing a wide range of documents including depositions, contracts, estate inventories, leases, deeds, wills, bonds, powers of attorney, and other private instruments. 

Volumes IV–X, Council Minutes, 1638–1665, containing the executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings of the Director General and Council of New Netherland.

Volumes XI–XV, Correspondence, 1646–1664, containing the correspondence of Director General Stuyvesant with the directors of the West India Company, the governors of neighboring colonies and the subordinate officers in New Netherland.

Volume XVI, Part 1, Ordinances, 1647–1658, ordinances, or laws and regulations written to govern and maintain order in the communities of New Netherland.

Volume XVI, Parts 2 and 3, Fort Orange Records, 1656–1660, ordinances, or laws and regulations written to govern and maintain order in the communities of New Netherland.

Volume XVII, Curaçao Papers, 1640–1665, containing ship manifests, land grants, official reports, and resolutions relating to the administration of the island of Curaçao. These documents chronicle Dutch rule of Curaçao as a Caribbean trading center. 

Volumes XVIII–XIX, Delaware Papers (Dutch period), 1648–1664administrative records created by the Dutch West India Company (WIC) in the Delaware region and sent to New Amsterdam.

Volumes XX–XXI, Delaware Papers (English period), 1664–1682documentation of English colonial New York's judicial and administrative interaction with the Delaware region while that region was in possession of the Duke of York.

Volumes XXII, Administrative Papers of Governors Richard Nicolls and Francis Lovelace, 1664–1673

Volume XXIII, Colve Papers, 1673–1674contains patents issued under the administration of Dutch Governor Anthony Colve, and a few private deeds from the same period.

Books GG and HH, Patents and Deeds, 1630–1664

Book II, Land Deeds, 1652–1653

The Andros Papers: Files of the Provincial Secretary of New York During the Administration of Governor Sir Edmund Andros, 1674–1680 (3. vols.)

The Andros Papers, 1674-1676 (vol. 1)

The Andros Papers, 1677-1678 (vol. 2)

The Andros Papers, 1679-1680 (vol. 3)

Kingston Papers, 1661–1675

Register of Salomon Lachaire, Notary Public of New Amsterdam, 1661–1662

From the Collections of the Albany County Hall of Records
Fort Orange Records, containing the oldest surviving archival papers of the Dutch community that eventually became Albany.
• Volume A, 1656–1678 
• Volume B, 1654–1679 

Minutes of the Court of Albany, Rensselaerswyck and Schenectady, 1668–1685 (translation)
This series contains similar types of information found in the Court of Fort Orange and Beverwijck minutes; only the name of the court has changed. The volumes summarize the day to day proceedings of the court and document common cases involving property disputes, acknowledgement of debts and slander

From the Collections of the New York State Library
Van Rensselaer Manor Papers. The court minutes of Rensselaerswijck along with the business and personal correspondence of patroon Jeremias van Rensselaer (1632–1674) and his wife Maria (1645–1688/89) chronicle social, economic, legal, and governmental aspects of life on the patroonship.
• Correspondence of Jeremias van Rensselaer - (translation and manuscript images)
• Correspondence of Maria van Rensselaer - (translation and manuscript images)
• Court Minutes of Rensselaerswijck - (translation and manuscript images)

The Memorandum Book of Antony de Hooges (translation, transcription, and manuscript images)
Antony de Hooges served as business manager of Rensselaerswijck, beginning somewhere between March 1645 and February 1646 and running through March 1648. De Hooges recorded the colony’s business and some personal observations in the Memorandum Book.

From the Collections of the New York City Muncipal Archives
Brooklyn Old Town Records. These are the records that used to be called the Kings County Records at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. They contain much information about the western end of Long Island. Cautionary norte from Dr. Gehring:  As with most 19th-century translations they need to be used with caution. Eventually, their translations should be revisited.

From the Collections of the New-York Historical Society
Govert Loockermans: Correspondence and Papers. (transcription, translation, and manuscript images)

From the Collections of the New York Public Library
The New Netherland Papers of Hans Bontemantel. Hans Bontemantel was a director of the Dutch West India Company's Amsterdam Chamber, which supervised the governance of New Netherland. In addition to official correspondence, this collection contains private communications from Director-General Petrus Stuyvesant and his First Councilor Nicasius de Sille.

From the Collections of the Scheepvaart Museum in Amsterdam 
Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts. This collection comprises a great variety of papers, including journals of voyages, deeds, leases, contracts, accounts and inventories of cattle; but the most important item is a volume containing copies of letters, memorials and instructions written between the years 1630 and 1643 by Kiliaen van Rensselaer, the founder of the colony of Rensselaerswyck, to his colonists, to officials of the West India Company, to his copartners and to the States General. Nearly all the papers relate primarily to the establishment and the early development of the colony of Rensselaerswyck, but incidentally they touch on many matters relating to settlement in other parts of the province of New Netherland as well.

From the Collections of the National Archives of the United Kingdom - The Prize Papers Collection
The Prize Papers Project is dedicated to digitalizing documents that were taken off ships that the English declared prizes in the years 1652-1815.  There are nineteen languages represented in the collection (so far), and by 2037, when the digitization is scheduled to be completed, there will be 3.5 million scans.  At the moment, the portal of the Prize Papers Project allows searches of materials taken from 1793 to 1815.  The Dutch National Archives has scanned materials from the Prize Papers Collection related to the Dutch Republic and its empire as part of the Sailing Letters Project.  Thus far, four letters from New Netherland have been found, all taken from one vessel, the Hoop van Middleburg, which was taken as a prize in 1665.  Digital images of all of the ship's surviving papers can be found here. Charles Gehring has provided an introduction and translated one of these letters here and the original of this letter can be found here.

Peter Stuyvesant's 1665 certification of land grants to manumitted slaves (transcription with translation)

Guide to Seventeenth-Century Dutch Coins, Weights & Measures — a glossary of terms that appear in the above records. 

A compilation of other published primary sources available online can be found at the site New Netherland and Beyond.

About the New Netherland Institute

For over three decades, NNI has helped cast light on America's Dutch roots. In 2010, it partnered with the New York State Office of Cultural Education to establish the New Netherland Research Center, with matching funds from the State of the Netherlands. NNI is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. More

The New Netherland Research Center

Housed in the New York State Library, the NNRC offers students, educators, scholars and researchers a vast collection of early documents and reference works on America's Dutch era. More


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