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Welcome to the A. C. Van Raalte Institute

You have come to the right site if you are interested in historical research with an emphasis on Dutch American history of the 19th and 20th centuries, or the history  of Holland, Michigan, and its subcultures, or the history of Hope College. To the left, you will find links to our mission statement, our history, our staff, our publications, and our program of visiting research fellowships.

The Institute was established in January 1994, thanks to a generous gift to the endowment of Hope College by Trustee Peter H. Huizenga and his mother, the late Elizabeth Bovenkerk Huizenga. The Institute is named in honor of the founder of Holland, Michigan, the Reverend Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte (1811-1876), who also played a key role in the founding of Hope College.

Dr. Elton J. Bruins, the Evert and Hattie Blekkink Professor Emeritus of Religion, served until July 2002 as the founding director of the Institute. The staff of the Institute has expanded over the years, with the addition of research professors and research fellows. All staff members have active research programs that have resulted in numerous books, articles, reviews, and presentations. You will find information on the staff and our publications via the links to your left.

We moved into the beautiful Theil Research Center in September 2004. The Institute shares the Theil Research Center with the Joint Archives of Holland. At the TRC you will find two libraries: the Institute’s specialized research library, which is focused on the Dutch and Dutch Americans; and the Heritage Collection of the Joint Archives. The link to the Joint Archives, http://www.hope.edu/jointarchives, will lead you to a description of their extensive archival records.

We invite you to pay a visit not only to our web links but also to our building. We also welcome inquiries about and applications for our annual visiting research fellowships.

Jacob E. Nyenhuis
Director