Making History Visible: New Paltz Historic Documents Project

Presented by Historic Huguenot Street on January 16, 2024
1 hour 7 minutes
Religious Records

Session Handout

This webinar discussion explores Historic Huguenot Street’s (HHS) three-year project (funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities) to preserve and digitize significant historical documents from its own archival collections, as well as materials from project partners the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection at Elting Memorial Library, the Reformed Church of New Paltz, and the Town of New Paltz.

This project encompasses documents ranging from the mid-1600s to about 1830, and it has allowed the partners (with the help of professional conservators and a digital imaging vendor) to conserve, digitize, and make available online at nearly 20,000 pages of documents thus far. These documents, which include legal, financial, and religious records, as well as a wealth of personal letters, provide detailed insight into the lives of New Paltz residents. To complement this project, in 2022 HHS commissioned translations of Dutch documents by Dr. Jaap Jacobs and Julie van den Hout, supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. These translations are available online with the digitized documents and include many items that had not been previously translated.

Beth Patkus, HHS Archivist/Librarian, will give an overview of HHS, its archives and library, and the resources it has to offer. Donna Dixon, Digital Librarian/Project Manager at HHS, will discuss the NEH project and demonstrate how to navigate and search the New Paltz Historic Documents online collection, including documents that have been recently translated.