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Hidden Dutch treasures at Rutgers Special Collections

October 10, 2016
page from farm ledger

Farm ledger of John G. Hardenbergh, 1773-1794, opened for Benjamin Oosterhoudt, shoemaker

Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives has posted a fascinating article connecting the Dutch roots of New Jersey and the University to items in their collections.

Most of these Dutch language materials were previously only accessible through a card catalog, but our archivists have created a document containing a provisional list of the Dutch archival materials [PDF] which will be of great interest to researchers and genealogists.

Early highlights include:  

The first part of Dinah Van Bergh Frelinghuysen Hardenbergh’s (1725–1807) original Dutch language devotional diary. She was the wife of Johannes Frelinghuysen (1727–1754) and, following his death, married Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (1735–1790).

Johannes Gerardus Hardenbergh’s (1731–1812) farm ledgers which document the activities at the family farm house in Kerhonksen, NY. Johannes was the youngest brothers of Rutgers president Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh. The ledgers document a barter economy and contain references to Hardenberg’s slaves, possibly including Sojourner Truth.

John Romeyn Brodhead (1814–1873) collected Dutch autographs from the Netherlands and documents relating to New York’s colonial history and famous Dutch naval heroes and politicians.

Additional items in this collection:

  • Bergenfield True Reformed Protestant Dutch records 1724-1832
  • Papers of Hendrick Fisher (founder and first president of the Board of Trustees of Queens College, NJ)
  • Hardenberg Family Papers, Dinah Van Bergh Hardenbergh and Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (first president of Queen's College)
  • John Henry Livingston Papers (fourth president of Queen's College)
  • Isaac Rysdyck "Index Rerum," Reformed Church clergyman
  • Cornelius Ten Broeck Papers (freeholder and state assembly for Somerset County)
  • Benjamin Vanderlinde, theological study note book
  • Reformed Church, Synod of North Holland, Proceedings of the synod meeting in 1786.


You can view brief descriptions of the materials in these collections here [PDF].