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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 6: History Materials --- 1955-1981
Box 6
Folder 1: Reprint: Italian Quarterly, Vol. 21 #21 and Italian writings of Cesi, Gabrieli, and Machiavelli --- 1980
Folder 2: Biographical material of Della Porta, "A Contemplative Scientist"of the Renaissance, written by MHR for the Dictionary of Scientific Biography --- 1970
Folder 3: An Italian Renaissance Coloring book depicting Italian costumes --- undated
Folder 4: Minutes and materials of the Michigan Consortuim of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Michigan --- 1976-1977
Folder 5: Materials on the medieval novel, including brief student papers on the subject --- 1971
Folder 6: Materials on Renaissance poetry, including an Italian poem by MHR --- 1962
Folder 7: Historical abstracts.  Written by MHR on Medieval and Renaissance publications for publication --- 1964-1965
Folder 8: "A Christian approach to Nationalism." History teachers' conference.  Introduction by MHR at Calvin College --- 1979
Folder 9: Ancient Roman history notes --- 1956, 1964
Folder 10: Ancient Greek history notes --- 1955, 1963
Folder 11: Medieval Latin notes --- undated
Folder 12: Western Civilization notes --- undated
Folder 13: Russian history lectures and materials --- 1955-1964
Folder 14: TV course on Russia --- undated
Box 7
Folder 1: "The Christian and Modern Science."Faculty seminar --- 1955, 1968
Folder 2: Reprints for the above seminar
Folder 3: Christian perspectives on a technological society; materials --- 1976-1977
Folder 4: Faculty development seminar --- 1979
Folder 5: Faculty development seminar including a paper by MHR: "Free Will Determinism and Explanation in the Human Sciences" --- 1979
Folder 6: Summer-fest activities.  MHR was a participant and producer of materials --- 1981
Folder 7: "The Religious Roots of Western Civilization"by MHR, used in summerfest --- 1981

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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