Tag Archives: New Netherland Institue

Dutch Legend: St. Nicholas and American Santa Claus


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Elisabeth Paling Funk will give a free lecture, entitled “From the Old World to the New: St. Nicholas in Dutch Legend and Celebration and the Birth of the American Santa Claus,” at the Historic Elmendorph Inn, North Broadway in Red Hook on Wednesday, December 16, at 7:30 pm; refreshments will be served after the lecture. The event is sponsored by the Egbert Benson Historical Society of Red Hook.

Elisabeth Paling Funk PhD attended the University of Amsterdam, received her BA in English, cum laude, from Manhattanville College and an MA and PhD from Fordham University. She is an independent scholar, editor, and translator.Her articles on Dutch-American and early American Literature have been published in the U.S. and the Netherlands. She is preparing her dissertation, “Washington Irving and His Dutch-American Heritage . . . ” for publication as a book. Dr. Funk is a former trustee of the New Netherland Institute.

Photo: Sinterklaas in the Netherlands in 2007.

Sex and the City: The Early Years


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On Wednesday, November 18th, Bill Greer, the author of The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan, is giving a talk at the Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, at 7 p.m. The lecture, entitled “Sex and the City: The Early Years,” looks at the bawdy world of Dutch New York from 1624 to 1664. Through anecdotes of real people and events, the talk examines the libertine culture Europeans brought to the Hudson Valley and how this culture engendered an independent streak that fueled a rebellion of the common people against their rulers. This conflict, many historians argue, laid the foundation for the pluralistic, freedom-loving society that America became.

Greer is also a Trustee and Treasurer of the New Netherland Institute based in Albany.

Date: November 18, 2009
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Grand Army Plaza, in the Brooklyn Collection Reserve Room

The Real Peter Stuyvesant? New Netherlands Fiction


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Bill Greer (a trustee of the New Netherland Institute) will talk about painting a portrait of New Netherland in a work of fiction, using his novel The Mevrouw Who Saved Manhattan: A Novel of New Amsterdam and the life of Peter Stuyvesant, Director general of the New Netherland colony. The event will take place on November 19th at the Hagaman Historical Society, Pawling Hall, 86 Pawling Street, in Hagaman (Montgomery County), NY at 7 pm.

Rensselaerswijck Seminar Scheduled For Oct 1-3


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The Rensselaerswijck Seminar, this year themed “Kiliaen van Rensselaer’s Colonie: The Beginning of European Settlement of the Upper Hudson,” will be held in the New York State Museum’s Carole Huxley Theatre October 2nd and 3rd. Scholars and historians from this country and the Netherlands will present seminar topics over the two days, giving current information about the origins and history of Rensselaerwijck, a million acres that encompassed what is now Albany, Rensselaer and Columbia counties. Admission to the seminar is $75 for both days, $50 for one day, and $25 for students.

Noted author Russell Shorto will speak on “Oh, Henry: What Has the Hudson Year Wrought?” at the opening reception of the 32nd Annual Rensselaerswijck Seminar, Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at the NYS Museum, Albany. Admission to Shorto’s talk is free.

The New Netherland Institute’s conference theme is a return to its roots as a platform for local historians to present their latest research on the only successful patroonship in New Netherland.

The members of the New Netherland Project staff will all take part. Charles T. Gehring, Ph.D., director of the project, Janny Venema, Ph.D., assistant director, and Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will present new information from their research specialty areas.

Shorto will also take part on a panel of authors Friday at 10:30 a.m., with other contributors to the institute’s recent publication, “Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland.” Martha D. Shattuck, Ph.D., editor, will be moderator.

More detailed information and registration forms are available at the New Netherland Institute website at www.nnp.org.

Research Grants Available at the NYS Archives


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The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program supports applicants from a variety of backgrounds with awards for advanced research in New York State history, government, or public policy. Previous residents have included academic and public historians, graduate students, independent researchers and writers, and primary and secondary school teachers. The project must draw on the holdings of the New York State Archives. Projects may involve alternative uses of the Archives, such as research for multimedia projects, exhibits, documentary films, and historical novels.

The Quinn-Archives Research Residency provides financial support for an individual to spend up to a year in Albany, New York, working in the rich collections of the New Netherland Institute and the New York State Archives. The program is offered because of the generous support of the Doris Quinn Foundation, the New Netherland Institute at the New York State Library and the New York State Archives.

Endowment earnings and private contributions to the Archives Partnership Trust provide the financial basis for the Hackman Research Program. Contributors have included The Susan and Elihu Rose Foundation, Inc., Henry Luce Foundation, Inc., The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and The Lucius N. Littaur Foundation. Contributions and endowment earnings enable the Trust to maintain prior years’ award levels, as well as to continue with invitational fellowships to complete priority projects.

New Netherland Project Featured in New Documentary


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The New York State Library’s New Netherland Project is featured in the documentary “Uncovering America’s Forgotten Colony: The New Netherland Project.” The documentary focuses on the work of Dr. Charles Gehring and his colleagues and highlights more than 30 years of uncovering America’s forgotten Dutch colonial history through the transcription and translation of the official archives of New Netherland. The documentary “Uncovering America’s Forgotten Colony: The New Netherland Project” was produced by Mogul One Productions in partnership with the New Netherland Institute. DVDs are available for $19.95, at http://ForPeopleWhoThink.com. Fifty percent of the proceeds will go to support future work of the New Netherland Project.

One of the most unique history projects in America, the New Netherland Project provided the documentation and inspiration for Russell Shorto’s recent best seller, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America.

A program of the New York State Library, the New Netherland Project has been working since 1974 to translate and publish the official 17th-century Dutch colonial documents of one of America’s earliest settled regions. Originally created under the sponsorship of the New York State Library and the Holland Society of New York, the New Netherland Project has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the New York State Office of Cultural Education. Translated documents and other work by the New Netherland Project can be accessed at www.nnp.org.

Also based on the work of the New Netherland Project, the exhibit Light on New Netherland is the first to introduce adults and children to the scope of the 17th century colony of New Netherland. Previously on view at the State Museum in Albany, the exhibit will tour the regions once encompassed by New Netherland, appearing at venues to include the GaGa Arts Center in West Haverstraw, New York; the Museum of Connecticut History at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford; the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities in Cold Spring Harbor, New York; Federal Hall in Manhattan; and the FDR Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.

The book Explorers, Fortunes and Love Letters (Mount Ida Press) further explores the history of America’s earliest colony with a collection of twelve essays. Designed to appeal to a general audience and scholars alike, the book features an opening chapter by Russell Shorto, author of The Island at the Center of the World: the Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan & the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America. The book was published by the New Netherland Institute and Mount Ida Press in April 2009.