The A. C. Van Raalte Institute is an internationally recognized leader in historical research. We focus on Dutch American history of the 19th and 20th centuries; the history of Holland, Michigan, and its subcultures; and the history of 鶹Ƶ.

Portrait of Albertus C. Van RaalteThe Van Raalte Institute of 鶹Ƶ honors the memory and vision of the Reverend Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte, the founder of Holland, Michigan, by engaging in and promoting the study of his life and legacy, exploring the history of the West Michigan community, and publishing, through the Van Raalte Press, scholarly work on Dutch-American relations and Dutch immigration and heritage in North America and around the globe.

Read about the history of the institute.

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Hope by the Numbers

  • 1847The year Van Raalte settled

    The Dutch Calvinists who settled on the shores of Lake Michigan at the mouth of Black Lake had seceded in 1834 from the Netherlands Hervormde Kerk; they had a clear sense of destiny, kept careful records of life in the colony and preserved key documents.

    Find books about the history of Holland
  • 1Graduate

    Albertus C. Van Raalte was the only university graduate in the Holland colony. He recorded the minutes of key organizations, helped start two Dutch-language newspapers and kept meticulous ledgers of his land, real estate mortgages, taxes and business investments.

    Study the life and work of Van Raalte
  • 5Attempts to dig the Holland Harbor

    Van Raalte led five attempts to dig a harbor to grow the economy of the colony. Each attempt was defeated by siltation, until federal funds finally provided a way for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the task.

    Read Swierenga’s “Holland, Michigan”
  • 50+Publications

    Since 1994 over 50 books and lectures have been published by or are forthcoming from the fellows and associates of the Van Raalte Institute.

    Browse our publications and lectures