Organizations and Resources

Organizations & Societies

A.C. Van Raalte Institute

Established in 1994, the A.C. Van Raalte Institute “[honors] the memory and the vision of the Reverend Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte … by studying his life and work. Its staff members’ research interests, however, extend beyond the life and legacy of Van Raalte. These experts on nineteenth and twentieth century Dutch-American history study Dutch-American citizens, immigration, settlements. The Institute, which is a Hope College department, is located at the Theil Research Center.

Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies

The Association for the Advancement of Dutch-American Studies [AADAS] “[encourages] research and [nurtures] a continuing interest in the history, life, and culture of the Dutch in North America.” In addition to supporting the publication of scholarship on Dutch-America, the AADAS also hosts a bi-annual conference. AADAS is affiliated with three local organizations: the A.C. Van Raalte Institute, Heritage Hall, and the Joint Archives of Holland.

Graafschap Heritage Center

The Graafschap Heritage Center is located within Graafschap Christian Reformed Church. In addition to maintaining the records of Graafschap CRC, the Heritage Center also “works to preserve the history of the pioneers who came to West Michigan from the Netherlands, and those who have lived in the area since.”

Historic Ottawa Beach Society

The Historic Ottawa Beach Society strives to preserve the history of Ottawa Beach and the Hotel Ottawa. Ottawa Beach and Hotel Ottawa feature prominently in the narrative of Holland’s resort and tourism history. The HOBS is currently raising funds for the establishment of a museum, which will be located in the Hotel Ottawa’s renovated Pump House.

Holland Historical Trust

The Holland Historical Trust maintains the Holland Museum, the Cappon House Museum, and the Settlers House Museum. Its collections preserve Holland’s diverse heritage and its exhibits communicate the city’s rich past.

New Netherland Institute

Since its establishment in 1986, the New Netherland Institute has worked to uncover the nation’s long-neglected Dutch Roots. Visitors can immerse themselves in Dutch-American history by exploring the NNI’s online exhibits, interactive timelines, and expansive collection of biographies.

Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society

The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society supports the operations of the Pump House Museum and the History Center (Old School House). The SDHS plays an important role in the local community, “enabling the community-at-large to connect with and understand its past, to preserve the quality of community life, and to respect and use the area’s history to shape its future.”

Zeeland Historical Society

The Zeeland Historical Society oversees the operations of the Dekker Huis and the New Groningen Schoolhouse. Researchers and community members may access the Society’s archival collection at the Zeeland  Historical Museum’s Research Room.






digitalcommons@HopeCollege is an open source repository of Hope College faculty, staff, and student projects and performances. The online database also contains digitized versions of Hope College’s archival collections.

Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall is located within Calvin College’s Hekman Library. It maintains the records of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. It also holds the personal papers of CRC Ministers and Dutch immigrants.



imagecollections@HopeCollege is an open source repository of photographs and prints. The online database is comprised of six collections:

  1. Myron Van Ark Postcard Collection
  2. History of Holland
  3. Envisioning Hope College
  4. Student Life
  5. Nykerk Cup Competition
  6. History of Science at Hope College

Joint Archives of Holland

The Joint Archives of Holland is a department of Hope College. The institution collects, processes, and cares for the archival collections of Hope College, Western Theological Seminary, Reformed Church of America missionaries, Dutch immigrants, and Holland residents.



Beardslee Library

Beardslee Library is located on the campus of Western Theological Seminary. It is open to the public.

Herrick District Library

Herrick District Library is located at 300 S. River Avenue. The HDL’s Genealogy Department is an essential first stop for every local researcher!

Van Wylen Library

Van Wylen Library is located on Hope College’s campus. In addition to its large circulation collection, Van Wylen Library also houses Hope College’s Rare Book Collection. It is open to the public.


Digital Collections

Making of

Modern Michigan

The Making of Modern Michigan digitally unites the collections of 52 Michigan Libraries. Thanks to the state-wide digitization project, which Michigan State University Libraries directs, researchers can easily access family papers, photographs, and genealogical records from their computer or tablet.