The Institute's focus on research requires extensive use of books and pamphlets in the area of Dutch-American studies. We are fortunate to be able to draw upon materials from the Joint Archives of Holland at Hope College, where the Dutch-American Heritage Collection is located; however, it is important to the work of the Institute to have a variety of resources immediately at hand, and the Institute is gradually building its own library.
The first major gift was received from the Rev. Dr. Gerrit tenZythoff, Professor Emeritus, Southeast Missouri University, who is a noted scholar in Dutch-American studies. Dr. tenZythoff is the author of a seminal work, Sources of Secession: The Netherlands Hervormde Kerk on the Eve of the Dutch Immigration to the Midwest (Eerdmans, 1987). After his retirement, he dispersed his collection of Dutch works, giving the bulk of this collection to the Institute. These books, many of which are rare and invaluable resources, have formed the basis of our collection.
The fellows' need for works in our field prompts the purchase of materials, and encourages the contribution of books, so that the Institute Library can become a premier resource in Dutch-American studies. Founding Director Bruins has donated his considerable collection to the Institute, and the Institute continues to add to sets of the minutes of the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America, since both denominations are closely related to the immigration movement led by Dr. Van Raalte. The Institute does not collect original documents—these are housed in the Joint Archives of Holland at Hope College—but it does seek copies of documents relating to the Dutch migration of the nineteenth century and to Dr. Van Raalte, which pertain to the research of the Institute and the current projects on which the fellows are working.
Additionally, selected recent publications are purchased as they appear. We are now becoming more aware of works published in the Netherlands which relate to our field of interest and increase our understanding of the context out of which the Dutch immigrants came to America. American items are also sought. The Institute's library, now including over 1,700 books and pamphlets and continuing to expand, is a significant resource for our work.