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October 5, 2017
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JP O'Hare

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State Library's Janny Venema Receives Knighthood Honor from Dutch Government

Dr. Janny Venema, Assistant Director of the New Netherland Research Center at the New York State Library, has been appointed Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau by the Netherlands government. Venema received the honor on September 23 by Dolph Hogewoning, Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, for her work promoting the Dutch role in American and New York history, including translating and transcribing the surviving archival records of New Netherland and educating the public about the Dutch influence on United States heritage.

“On behalf of the Board of Regents, we congratulate Dr. Janny Venema for receiving this high honor from the Dutch government,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “I commend Janny’s successful career and her dedication to making the history of the Dutch in North America available for study by scholars and students alike.”

“Dr. Janny Venema is so deserving of this honor,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “We greatly appreciate her work translating the Dutch documents at the State Library and Archives, developing educational materials and promoting the Dutch role in New York’s history for the past 33 years. Thanks to her commitment and hard work, these historic Dutch documents are available online for people around the world to research and learn from.”

“Through her research and promotion of the New Netherland period in United States history, Janny Venema has demonstrated exceptional merits and scholarship,” said Consul-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Dolph Hogewoning. “Furthermore, her significant work inspires and enables others to be engaged in the shared cultural heritage between the United States and the Netherlands.”

Venema received the Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau, a civil Dutch order of chivalry, for her efforts to raise awareness about the shared cultural heritage between the Netherlands and the United States. Throughout her 33-year career, she has transcribed, translated and researched the Dutch documents in the New York State Archives; published books, articles and educational materials; delivered lectures; and promoted exchange between American and Dutch educational institutions.

The New Netherland Research Center promotes and supports scholarship and knowledge about the 17th century Dutch colony of New Netherland, the first Dutch colony in North America which extended from Albany, NY to Delaware. It continues the work begun by the New York State Library's New Netherland Project to make the history of the Dutch colonial presence in North America available for study and research through preservation, transcription, translation, and digitization of the original 17th century documents and manuscripts of New Netherland in the collections of the New York State Library and State Archives, including the Dutch Colonial Manuscripts, Van Rensselaer Manor papers, Holland Land Company Records, and archaeological collections from New Amsterdam (present-day New York City) and Beverwijck (present-day Albany). Translations and transcriptions of the documents are available on the New Netherlands Institute website.