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M. Howard Rienstra Collection

Overview

Abstract

Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Reels in Audio Visual Collection

Personal Materials

Correspondence and History Teaching Material

History Teaching Material

History Department

History Materials

Philosophy of History Academic Affairs

Student Papers

Card Indexes, Microfilm of G. Della Porta's De Distillations Liber 13, Datebooks

Writings

Speeches

Meeter Center

Sabbatical in Italy

Correspondence as City Commissioner

Grand Rapids City Commission Materials

Housing in Grand Rapids

Kent Community Action Program (CAP)

Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Michigan Advisory Committee (MHR secretary) on Civil Rights (MHR)

Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

CRC Race Commission

Miscellaneous Items

Selected Books

Miscellaneous Material

Addenda and Varia

Calvinism and Racism International Conference



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M. Howard Rienstra Collection, 1949-1987 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: M. Howard Rienstra Collection, 1949-1987

ID: COLL/203

Primary Creator: M. Howard Rienstra (1931-1986)

Extent: 39.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Folder level description

Abstract

Professor of history at Calvin College; director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies; city commissioner for Grand Rapids, Michigan; chairman of the Michigan Advisory Committee; and service commissioner. The collection includes lecture notes and outlines; papers on medieval history, the Renaissance, Western Civilization, Russian history and philosophy of history; speeches; addresses; commencement addresses; chapel talks; essays; articles; correspondence; book reviews; student papers; Michigan Consortium of Medieval and Early Modern Studies records, 1976-1977; reprints of articles regarding John Calvin; Calvinism and Racism Conference paper and  materials; Grand Rapids City Commission records, 1970-1983; Community Action Program materials; Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights records, 1975-1984; Christian Reformed Race Commission records, 1961-1971; and scrapbooks on the Urban League and city commissioner activities. [See also the Campus Titles Database.]

Biographical Note

M. Howard Rienstra (1931-1986) was born in Warren Point, New Jersey, orphaned at age five and adopted at age ten.  Rienstra was educated in the Christian schools of Paterson, New Jersey, Calvin College, and the University of Michigan.  His area of specialization was the Italian Renaissance, which drew him on several scholarly ventures to Italy.  However, his intellectual travels as reflected in his papers were universal indeed.  Thus, his papers contain valuable insights into the activities of Calvin College during his tenure in the history department from 1957 to 1986.  A large portion of the collection reveals his intense involvement in civic affairs during his thirteen-year stint as Commissioner in the city of Grand Rapids.  Moreover, because of his keen interest in civil rights, the Rienstra papers bring together not only his contributions to the Michigan Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights but also many significant articles and papers on this subject.  His own articles and speeches cover topics as varied as the “Christian Philosophy of History” to “Racism in Grand Rapids.”  As the first director of the H. H. Meeter Calvinism Research Center (1983-1986), Rienstra brought together his linguistic talent, his love for John Calvin, his historical sensitivity, his administrative ability, and his dream of building a Calvin collection par excellence.

In sum, the Rienstra collection mirrors the sobriquet “A Renaissance Man” often given him on the Calvin College campus.  The papers reveal admirably the life and work of a man dedicated to God and the service of man.

M. Howard Rienstra passed away due to cancer. He died on June 16, 1986. His wife, Mary, and their seven children survived him.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Reels in Audio Visual Collection, 1985],
[Series 2: Personal Materials, 1949-1983],
[Series 3: Correspondence and History Teaching Material, 1960-1986],
[Series 4: History Teaching Material, 1957-1983],
[Series 5: History Department, 1954-1986],
[Series 6: History Materials, 1955-1981],
[Series 7: Philosophy of History Academic Affairs, 1963-1984],
[Series 8: Student Papers, 1964-1984],
[Series 9: Card Indexes, Microfilm of G. Della Porta's De Distillations Liber 13, Datebooks, 1970-1986],
[Series 10: Writings, 1953-1986],
[Series 11: Speeches, 1959-1984],
[Series 12: Meeter Center, 1971-1987],
[Series 13: Sabbatical in Italy, 1969],
[Series 14: Correspondence as City Commissioner, 1970-1983],
[Series 15: Grand Rapids City Commission Materials, 1961-1986],
[Series 16: Housing in Grand Rapids, 1963-1968],
[Series 17: Kent Community Action Program (CAP), 1972-1985],
[Series 18: Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1975],
[Series 19: Michigan Advisory Committee (MHR secretary) on Civil Rights (MHR), 1970-1984],
[Series 20: Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1977-1984],
[Series 21: CRC Race Commission, 1950-1972],
[Series 22: Miscellaneous Items, 1962-1969],
[Series 23: Selected Books, 1950-1983],
[Series 24: Miscellaneous Material, 1968-1986],
[Series 25: Addenda and Varia, 1975-1987],
[Series 26: Calvinism and Racism International Conference, January 28-30, 1985, 1978-1985],
[All]

Series 5: History Department --- 1954-1986
Box 5
Folder 1: Administrative papers --- 1958-1986
Folder 2: Colloquies --- 1962-
Folder 3: Papers on medieval history, written by members of other educational institutions, undated
Folder 4: Conference on Faith and History Papers: St. Paul, MN.  Comment by MHR on paper by E. Wierenga, U of Rochester --- 1974, 1980
Folder 5: History: Civil life in the Renaissance.  Notes and Bibliography --- 1954
Folder 6: Humanism, the dignity of man.  Academic papers, excerpts from many sources --- 1950s and 1960s
Folder 7: Christian Humanism Conference at Valparaiso University.  Papers and materials --- 1967
Folder 8: History notes and bibliography on Renaissance period.  Professor Throop, University of Michigan --- 1954-1955
Folder 9: Interim course on Galileo --- 1977
Folder 10: Interim course on Florence and Geneva --- 1984
Folder 11: World congress and other materials at 600th anniversary of Petrarch's death --- 1974
Folder 12: Noteworthy papers on Petrarch, Europe's first modern man!

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Reels in Audio Visual Collection, 1985],
[Series 2: Personal Materials, 1949-1983],
[Series 3: Correspondence and History Teaching Material, 1960-1986],
[Series 4: History Teaching Material, 1957-1983],
[Series 5: History Department, 1954-1986],
[Series 6: History Materials, 1955-1981],
[Series 7: Philosophy of History Academic Affairs, 1963-1984],
[Series 8: Student Papers, 1964-1984],
[Series 9: Card Indexes, Microfilm of G. Della Porta's De Distillations Liber 13, Datebooks, 1970-1986],
[Series 10: Writings, 1953-1986],
[Series 11: Speeches, 1959-1984],
[Series 12: Meeter Center, 1971-1987],
[Series 13: Sabbatical in Italy, 1969],
[Series 14: Correspondence as City Commissioner, 1970-1983],
[Series 15: Grand Rapids City Commission Materials, 1961-1986],
[Series 16: Housing in Grand Rapids, 1963-1968],
[Series 17: Kent Community Action Program (CAP), 1972-1985],
[Series 18: Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1975],
[Series 19: Michigan Advisory Committee (MHR secretary) on Civil Rights (MHR), 1970-1984],
[Series 20: Michigan Advisory Committee on Civil Rights to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1977-1984],
[Series 21: CRC Race Commission, 1950-1972],
[Series 22: Miscellaneous Items, 1962-1969],
[Series 23: Selected Books, 1950-1983],
[Series 24: Miscellaneous Material, 1968-1986],
[Series 25: Addenda and Varia, 1975-1987],
[Series 26: Calvinism and Racism International Conference, January 28-30, 1985, 1978-1985],
[All]


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