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Register of the Records of the



1.6 ft.

MSS 78


Sandra Shaffer VanDoren

June 1990


The Netherlands Society of Philadelphia was established in 1791 to disseminate knowledge of Netherlands history, to preserve the traditions of the Dutch colonists in the Delaware Valley and the genealogical records of those descended from them, and (beginning in 1893) to commemorate the anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht of 1579.  Its first president was Peter D. Keyser, and all its active members have been men who can document their Dutch antecedents.

The society is pledged to keep alive the customs of its Dutch ancestry, especially at the annual dinner, its main activity, held around the end of January.  It has occasionally raised money for projects in the Netherlands or for Dutch-American events in this country, as for example, the celebration of their tercentenary of the landing of the Dutch on the Delaware (1950).


These materials were donated to the Balch Institute by William Alrich, from 1974-1982.


The collection spans the years 1892-1982, with a slight concentration of materials during the 1940s and 1950s, and deals primarily with arrangements for and activities at the annual dinners.  It also includes some other financial and historical information about the society, and five video tapes regarding Queen Beatrix's 1982 U.S. trip.


These materials are organized into two series.  The first contains the records, the second the video tapes.

SERIES I: SOCIETY RECORDS, 1892-1976, 1.25 ft.

This series consists of numerous materials generated by or at the annual dinners: menus, annual minutes, receipts and even secretarial and financial reports; other financial data, including two leather bound cash books; general and society histories; membership lists and application blanks; general reports and papers; and songs.  A sense of the annual history of events and expenditures of the society can be gathered especially from the run of minutes, and the secretarial and the treasurer's reports spanning the 1940s and 1950s.  The records are arranged alphabetically, with undated "other materials" at the end.

SERIES II: VIDEO TAPES, 1982, .35 ft.

The five video tapes record the reception given by the society for Queen Beatrix on April 22, 1982.  They are organized by tape number, with the edited master at the end.

The box list of the Register of the Records of the Netherlands Society of Philadelphia is two pages long.