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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 10: Writings --- 1953-1986
Box 12
Folder 1: "Origins"essay manuscript on the Supremacy of God --- undated
Folder 2: "Beginnings"review by George Marsden of a chapter of a proposed book by MHR.  Other related writings on same topic --- 1977
Folder 3: Critique of H. Dooyeweerd's philosophy for De Wachter --- Nov-58
Folder 4: Critique for a history text for the NUCS Social Studies Committee --- 1959
Folder 5: Series of six articles for the Federation Messenger on Communism; "A Christian Approach to History" for the Christian Educator's Journal --- 1961, 1962
Folder 6: "La Dolce Vita"a poem by MHR in Italian; Description of history faculty in poetic style --- 1962, 1984
Folder 7: "The Academics,"an article on the academics as institutions of learning in Italy --- undated
Folder 8
Item 1: "Giovanni Battista della Porta and Renaissance Science,"a dissertation abstract of MHR --- 1963
Item 2: "Giovanni Ecchio Linceo,"an essay publication in Italy for the Accademia Nazionale dei Lencei --- 1968
Folder 9: "Christians and Science, some Historical Recommendations,"for a symposium on campus --- 1969
Folder 10
Item 1: "The Problem of a Christian Philosophy of History,"a bibliography for Fides et Historia --- 1969
Item 2: "Book review on "Events and their After-life"by A.C. Charity for Calvin Theological Journal --- 1968
Folder 11: Parts 1 and 2 of "Lynceographic"writings of the Lynceographum, an Italian Academy of Science
Folder 12: Two Notebooks, translations of Part 1 of the foregoing --- undated
Folder 13: "Giambattista Della"biography written for the Dictionary of Scientific Biography --- 1971
Folder 14: "Gaetano Marini and the Historiography of the Accademia dei Lincei, Published in Rome --- 1971
Folder 15: "Christianity and History,"a bibliographical essay --- 1973
Folder 16: "Ancient Greece in Christian Perspective," for NUCS --- 1975
[HERH DF79 .R5]
Folder 17: "History, Objectivity, and the Christian Scholar" for Fides et Historia. Volume 10, No. 1 --- 1977
Folder 18: "Civil Religion and the Christian,"for Fides et Historia --- undated
Folder 19
Item 1: Book Review: Medieval Aspects of Renaissance Learning: Paul O. Kristeller --- 1974
Item 2: Book Review: Events and their After-life. A.C. Charity --- 1968
Folder 20
Item 1: Book Review: Paradigms and Revolutions: Application and Appraisals by Thomas Kuhn's Philosophy of Science --- 1983
Item 2: Book Review: Piety, Politics and Ethics - Carter Lindberg --- 1984
Folder 21
Item 1: "William Spoelhof, a tribute"for Prism --- 1975
Item 2: "Reflections on Grand Rapids" for Dialogue --- 1976
Item 3: "Medieval and Renaissance Education" for Chimes --- Feb 1981
Box 13
Folder 1: "War is Obscene,""Sunday Legislation,""Pride or Avarice,""Common Grace,"for Federation Messenger --- 1971
Folder 2
Item 1: "Police-Provocation-Responsibility," for Root, a Grand Rapids publication --- 1971
Item 2: "Grand Rapids - Random Reflections from a political outsider" --- undated
Item 3: "An Officer has been shot," from Grand Rapids Press --- January 1975
Item 4: "Victimless Crimes" --- March 1975
Folder 3
Item 1: "How a Commissioner handles his commitment to Christ and his political role,"for Grand Rapids Independent Voice --- 1976
Item 2: "Christian Love in our Neighborhoods" for Banner --- March 1977
Item 3: "Christianity and Politics" for New River Free Press --- March 1976
Folder 4: Articles for the Organizer a Grand Rapids News Publication --- 1979-1980
Folder 5
Item 1: "Franklin and Fuller" --- undated
Item 2: "Racism in Grand Rapids," for Dialogue --- January 1983
Item 3: "Fire" --- July 1982
Folder 6: "What constitutes a civil right? Reconsidered,"submitted to the New York Times magazine, included reactions and responses to the article --- July 1984
Folder 7: "Civil Rights: Price and Principles"and "Civil Rights reconsidered" for Banner, but never published --- April 1986
Folder 8
Item 1: Account of an emergency arrest (while City Commissioner) --- April 1980
Item 2: Letters to the editor of the Grand Rapids Press --- 1978, 1984
Folder 9: Incomplete random writings on urban subjects
Folder 10: Communication between Stan Wiersma and MHR during Baroque celebration --- 1982
Folder 11: Books and Bread Article: The Christian Academy and the Christian Life-Style
Folder 12: Manuscript: Jesuits in China, University of Minnesota Press --- 1986
Box 14
Folder 1
Item 1: Outline of Introductory Survey --- 1953
Item 2: The Method of Historical investigation --- 1953
Item 3: Realization of reason in history --- 1953
Item 4: A Law of History --- 1953
Item 5: Burchhardt, Valid Critic of Christianity --- 1953
Folder 2: Origin's Contra Celsum, A Study in Christian Asceticism --- 1954
Folder 3: The History of an Idea --- 1954
Folder 4: Bishop Otto of Freising, a 12th Century historian --- 1954
Folder 5: Orosius, a study in historiography --- 1954
Folder 6: Latin Paleography --- 1955
Folder 7: Pythagorean Science and Politics --- 1955
Folder 8
Item 1: Mathematics and culture --- 1956
Item 2: The Quadratic in Arabian algebra: Al Khuwarizmi --- 1956
Folder 9: Historical Activity in New Jersey --- 1956

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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