Transatlantic Relations Online : Digital Archives of the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies

Transatlantic Relations Online : Digital Archives of the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies
The Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS) is an archive, public library, research center, and graduate school based in Middelburg, the Netherlands. Established in 1986 as the Roosevelt Study Center and completely renovated in 2017, the RIAS’s mission is to foster the study of American history in Europe, to facilitate research on the history of American politics, culture, and society, and to explore the historical development and trajectories of Dutch-American and, generally, transatlantic relations. The RIAS carries out such a mission under its motto “Pursuing the Rooseveltian Century,” which means that it supports academic research investigating the evolution of American society and its institutional settings, the changing nature of the relationship between the US government and its citizenry, the consolidation of modern political leadership, the evolution of American diplomacy and empire, and the performative roles played domestically and internationally by such ideas as freedom, security, and equality.

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The Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS) is an archive, public library, research center, and graduate school based in Middelburg, the Netherlands. Established in 1986 as the Roosevelt Study Center and completely renovated in 2017, the RIAS mission is to foster the study of American history in Europe, to facilitate research on the history of American politics, culture, and society, and to explore the historical development and trajectories of Dutch-American and, in general, transatlantic relations. The RIAS carries out such a mission under its motto “Pursuing the Rooseveltian Century,” which means that it supports academic research investigating the evolution of American society and its institutional settings, on the changing nature of the relationship between the U.S. government and its citizenry, on the consolidation of modern political leadership, on the evolution of American diplomacy and empire, and on the performative roles played domestically and internationally by such ideas as freedom, security, and equality.

The RIAS holds more than 250,000 documents that help scholars and students at any level to investigate the complexity of American history. The RIAS collections focus on a variety of issues such as civil rights, national security, intelligence, propaganda, radicalism, religion, and diplomacy. Collected over more than thirty years, these documents include presidential papers, personal correspondence and oral histories, departmental files, NGO records, diaries, memoires, historical periodicals, and journals.

In order to make its materials available to a larger audience, the RIAS, in cooperation with Brill, has recently started digitizing some of its most prominent holdings. Organized in an expanding RIAS Digital Collection in Transatlantic Relations roughly totaling 210,000 pages, the RIAS’ first digital collection consists of four different archives including:

[Use the search box at the top of this screen to search through all four archives or select one of the archives above for browsing/searching.]

Together, these collections provide unique insights into the history of Dutch-American relations, the development of transatlantic cultural programs, and the history of Dutch and European migration to North America. They are of particular interest to scholars working on cultural and public diplomacy, political and economic relations, migration flows, cross-cultural exchanges, the role of religion in foreign policy making, and the attractiveness of and resistance to American political, cultural and economic hegemony in Europe.

The documents of this multifaceted digital collection are different in nature and scope, as they include diplomatic correspondence, private groups’ records, and governmental files. Due to its syncretic nature, the RIAS digital collection spans several themes that include transatlantic politics and diplomacy, economy, agriculture, education, elections, military affairs, public works, religion, environment, and public health. All in all, the collection conveys the complex and nonlinear history of official and unofficial contacts established between Europe and North America, particularly the US, over the course of more than two centuries. For this reason, the collection is of particular use for those who want to assess, through the prism of transatlantic contacts and exchanges, the development of the American Republic and its federal government both before and after the Civil War, the rise of the US as a global power, its progressive political, military and economic involvement in European affairs, and the establishment of its long-lasting and tenacious influence in the post-1945 era. At the same time, the collection offers original perspectives into the story of Dutch and European politics, culture and society, by highlighting the varied dynamics of the Dutch empire and both its internal and external relations, the consolidation of a deep-rooted and special relation between the Netherlands and the US, and the combination of political interests, cultural and religious factors, and societal (ex)changes that have strengthened Dutch transatlantic ties in the postwar era.

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Transatlantic Relations Online, Project Advisor: Dario Fazzi, Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2020 <http://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/transatlantic-relations-online>