The State Archives, State Museum, and State Library are among the largest repositories of documents, artifacts, furniture, and decorative arts from the 17th century colonial Dutch settlements in what became New York. Join Dr. Charles Gehring, Director of the New Netherland Research Center, Dr. Michael Lucas, State Museum Historic Archaeologist, and Dr. Jennifer Lemak, State Museum Chief Curator of History, as they discuss their research and highlight important documents and artifacts in their respective collections.
Office of Cultural Education Highlights New Netherland Research and Collections
The New York State Archives
The NYS Archives holds the surviving records of the Dutch colony of New Netherland, which encompassed the earliest European settlements that became the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. These 17th-century records concern the full range of government functions including relations with native inhabitants, particularly the Mohawks, Mahicans, and various groups around New Amsterdam and the Delaware River.
The New York State Museum’s Historic Archaeology Collections
The NYSM Historic Archaeology Collections consist of thousands artifacts from colonial Dutch archaeological sites throughout the Hudson Valley and Manhattan, including over 36,000 artifacts from Fort Orange here in Albany – the first permanent Dutch settlement in New Netherland, built as a trading post by the West India Company in 1624.
The New York State Museum’s History Collection
The NYSM History Collection includes artifacts from 17th and 18th century that depict colonial Dutch life. The George Way Collection includes 17th and 18th century Dutch furniture, paintings, ceramics, and housewares. The Tompkins-Ten Eyck collection reflects the history of a colonial Dutch family that settled in Coeyman’s Hollow beginning in 1749 and spanned eight generations. There are also collections relating to the long lived Dutch influence on decorative arts, architecture, and agriculture in the Hudson Valley and Mohawk Valley.
The New York State Library
The NYS Library has a collection of 17th and 18th century Dutch family bibles – it was custom to record birth, death, and marriage dates in bibles. Many of these are written in Dutch well into the 19th century.
For educational resources, worksheets, and additional videos about 17th century colonial Dutch settlements in New York, visit the NYSM Fort Orange Education Guide: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/fort-orange-educational-guide