The Dirk B.K. Van Raalte Collection houses the personal, family, Civil War, and business papers of Dirk B.K. Van Raalte. This collection, which dates from 1845–1925, consists of correspondence, business papers, and personal memorabilia, documenting the life and works of Dirk B.K. Van Raalte, including his time as a soldier in the Civil War, his presidency over Holland City State Bank, and his terms as Michigan legislator.
This collection fits into the broader narrative of immigration to the United States. Researchers interested in the history of Van Raalte's descendants, how veterans remembered the Civil War, and the 2nd/3rd generation immigrant experience will all find something to value in this collection.
The collection is arranged into one series: 'Papers'. The series is topically arranged.
The ‘Papers’ series contains certificates, newspaper and magazine clippings, obituaries, announcements, correspondence, postcards, hotel forms, a probate court discharge, advertisements, banking records, checks, a blueprint, bills, tax documents, land contracts, receipts, a dog receipt, land documents, invitations, programs, his military discharge, the Holland Soldiers’ Union constitution, pamphlets, cards, envelopes, a souvenir photobook of Washington D.C., ribbons, financial records, newspaper subscriptions, account books, issues of the Bay View Magazine, Cushing’s Manual, a business ledger, a child’s handwriting workbook, and his notebook. It shows the multifaceted life that Dirk Van Raalte lived, from his time as a soldier in the Civil War, to his presidency over Holland City State Bank, showing his acumen at economics and rhetoric, as well as being a diligent, family man. Moreover, the family’s propensity for travel reveals, in combination with their long-reaching subscriptions to magazines and newspapers, a family that liked to keep abreast with current American culture and events.