New Netherland Research Center Opens
A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, November 3, 2010 officially opened the New Netherland Research Center (NNRC) on the 7th floor of the New York State Library. The NNRC will focus attention on New York State's rich collection of historic Dutch Colonial documents and facilitate access to them for future scholars, teachers and students both here and abroad.
Seventeenth-century collections of government records in the New York State Archives, along with non-government documents in the Library's Manuscripts and Special Collections unit, constitute the world's largest collection of early Dutch-language documentation of the New World colonies.
Scholars regularly explore these collections for insights into seventeenth-century life in New Netherland, the sprawling early Dutch colony that once encompassed what is now a large part of the northeastern United States.
The NNRC is the culmination of a decades-long translation effort, the New Netherland Project, at the New York State Library.
In 2009, the government of the Netherlands committed to a grant of €200,000 (approximately $275,000) to the New Netherland Institute to continue and expand the New Netherland Project by establishing a New Netherland Research Center.This gift, with matching support from the Institute, will transform what started out as a translation project into a collaborative research initiative with international scope and context. It is the first step in an international effort to launch a collaborative digitization project to share collections and archives from the Netherlands and former Dutch colonies.