October 31, 2018

United States: Exploring the USA’s Dutch heritage

It is now possible to stroll through the records of the Dutch West India Company at the New York State Archives in Albany by using one finding aid on the website of the National Archives of the Netherlands.

Digitisation of Dutch Records
The colony of New Netherland was established by the Dutch West India Company (WIC) in 1624. The Dutch presence in North America in the 17th century has left lots of archival traces in the United States. In recent years, this large collection of original documents involving the WIC has been digitised, transcribed, and translated from Dutch to English. The collection represents an irreplaceable resource for exploring the Dutch chapter in American history. These documents are therefore accessible for research on the websites of both the New York State Archives (NYSA) and the National Archives of the Netherlands (NAN).

Finding aid
NAN has bundled the NYSA’s finding aids for the Dutch records into a single combined inventory. Because the descriptions are written in English, an introduction in Dutch has been added. The archival descriptions contain deep links that take users directly to corresponding scans on the NYSA’s website.

This project is a result of a fruitful collaboration between NAN, NYSA and the New Netherland Institute that started back in 2009. Within the framework of the Shared Cultural Heritage Programme, NAN is working with these partners to improve and enlarge the accessibility and visibility of archival collections on New Netherland. The latest results of this collaboration were presented during the 41st Annual Conference of the New Netherland Institute in Albany in September, 2018.