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William B. Eerdmans Collection, 1912-1957

Collection Overview

Title: William B. Eerdmans Collection, 1912-1957

ID: COLL/249

Creator: Eerdmans, William B. (1882-1966)

Extent: 0.65 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Publisher, philanthropist, and prominent layman of the Christian Reformed Church. The collection includes clippings and articles about and by William B. Eerdmans; a transcription of a taped interview; pamphlets; and two large scrapbooks with periodical clippings from De Wachter, The Banner, The Church Herald, The Grand Rapids Press, and Dutch newspapers which detail Albertus C. Van Raalte and the centennial celebrations, 1847-1947, at Holland, Michigan. [See also the Campus Titles Database.]

Biographical Note

William B. Eerdmans was born in Bolsward, Friesland, the Netherlands on November 4, 1882. Seeking adventure, Eerdmans immigrated to the United States in 1902. When he arrived Eerdmans enrolled at Calvin College. Eerdmans initially planned on pursuing a career in ministry, even entered Calvin's Seminary. However, he did not complete his formal theological education. In 1910 he felt the call to enter the book business world, and began a second-hand retail store. By 1911 Eerdmans's business grew and became a successful publisher of religious books and eventually became known as William B Eerdmans Publishing Company.

By the late 1940s the publishing company not only survived two world wars and a great depression, but was thriving. They were publishing about 100 books a year and released about 50,000,000 volumes under the Eerdmans name. With all the successful of his business, Eerdmans remained humble and praised God. Eerdmans was also a major benefactor to his alma mater, Calvin College. He contributed both financially and academically to college, even underwriting the establishment and maintenance of the Calvin Foundation.

On April 12, 1966 William B Eerdmans passed away at the age of 83 due to a lingering illness. William B Eerdmans Publishing Company celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2011 which is currently being ran by his son William Eerdmans Jr.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: [General Materials]
Box 1: Scrapbooks (2), subject:  A. C. Van Raalte --- 1947-1954
Folder 1: Articles and papers --- 1949-1957
Folder 2: De Ramp van de Titanic [HERH G530.T6 E4] --- 1912
Folder 3: Mijn Recitatie Boek --- undated
Folder 4: "Calvin College song," lyrics by William Kuiper and music by William Eerdman