Hope College and the Great Depression

“IOU” money received by Ethel Leetsma Swets, 1930

The Great Depression impacted everyone, including students at Hope College. Though the effects of this era may not have been immediately apparent on campus, alumni archives and Hope’s newsletter reveal some perspectives on the student experience at Hope during the 1930s.

Read about this story in our Fall 2022 newsletter‘s featured article, “Hope College and the Great Depression,” by Grace Baty.


The STEM-Missionary Connection for Hope Women

Since its founding, Hope College has emphasized both classical and biblical training and studies in science and math. It is relatively well-known that many graduates have gone on to work and serve as missionaries or medical professionals around the world. But did you know that a significant minority of those science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates have been women?

This discovery is the subject of Maria Seidl’s recent article “The STEM-Missionary Connection for Hope Women.” Read about this story and other archives news the Summer 2022 issue of The Joint Archives Quarterly newsletter.


The Campus Experience of Hope College Women During World War II


This issue includes a World War II era article penned by summer 2021 research student Brooke Carbaugh while studying our collections for a much larger project. That project is now a website called Women at Hope College During the 1930s and 1940s and is a true joy to read.

Honoring Burr Tillstrom: Television Pioneer and Friend of Hope College

Few people know that Burr Tillstrom, creator of the famous puppets Kukla and Ollie, and later a television colleague of Fran Allison, spent lots of time at Hope College. During the 1960s and 1970s Tillstrom worked with students and collaborating with communication department professor Ted Nielsen on a biography about Tillstrom captured on videotape and not seen since his death in 1985. Read more about this special connection to Hope College in the latest Joint Archives Quarterly newsletter.

Tales from the Archives

The Holland Museum is hosting a new program series that explores local history topics supported by the Holland Museum’s collection and archives. The first two presentations will happen on Thursday, September 23 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. as a virtual program via Zoom.

Local historians Geoffrey Reynolds, from the Joint Archives of Holland, and Dave Brooks will discuss their research from the Museum archives. Enjoy a lively evening of history and conversation. During World War II Holland, boat building companies built large and small military vessels that would help win the war. Geoffrey Reynolds will present an illustrated history of Holland’s important part in this key war industry and its lasting effect on the community after hostilities ended. To close our evening, Dave Brooks will discuss the genealogy and family history of Sarah Tolk, the only person to lose her life in the 1871 Holland Fire.

Registration is required on Eventbrite through the Holland Museum website.

This is a free adult program. Donations appreciated.

The Women’s Athletic Association: The Foundation of Women’s Sports at Hope College

Read about about the evolution of women’s sports at Hope College and the development of the Women’s Athletic Association in the latest issue of the Joint Archives Quarterly.

Knickerbocker Theatre Marks 110 Years in Holland

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Read about the history of the Knickerbocker Theatre, during the good times and the bad, by former student research assistant and Hope College alumna Aine O’Conner, in the latest Joint Archives Quarterly newsletter.

The Forgotten War and Its Warriors-Spanish-American War Veterans of Holland

Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders
at the top of San Juan Hill, Cuba, July 1898

The latest issue of the Joint Archives Quarterly includes an article about the Holland area United Spanish War Veterans Camp No. 38 and their struggle to be remembered and honored. The article was penned by Autumn Balamucki, a Hope College history student and one of our past summer research students. Balamucki wrote about working remotely using digitized archival material during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles these men faced after they came home.

Joint Archives Seeking Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kelly Gordon Jacobsma, the Genevra Thome Begg Dean of Libraries, is Keeping Hope at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. This image will be placed in the Covid-19 Reflections collection.

The Joint Archives of Holland is seeking personal reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic from the extended Hope College family to provide a lasting chronicle of the era as seen through the eyes of those who are experiencing it.

First-person accounts are invaluable to researchers seeking to understand the past and how people felt about the events of their time, so we are collecting the personal stories from the Hope College community because this is a clear historical moment and we want to get individual experiences of people to record details of campus life and life at home.

We’re encouraging students, staff, faculty and alumni to share their stories, or to help others share their accounts. They can share their own images, journal, prose, artwork, or email correspondence — any form of expression — whether it’s on paper or in a digital form. As far as subject matter is concerned, examples of relevant topics include the economy; political messaging; level of trust in the government and media; and discussion of what’s happening in terms of the weather, relationships with family and friends, neighbors and colleagues. We are also hoping to receive survivor stories.

For those who might be uncomfortable sharing their own thoughts, Reynolds suggests interviewing others they can help others narrate their stories by conducting an interview with them and donating the recording to the archives much like the StoryCorps approach. People interested in this option can volunteer with a partner or be paired with someone they don’t know in a kind of matchmaking setup.

Information about how to participate is available on the Joint Archives of Holland’s website, https://hope.edu/library/joint-archives-holland/.

For those who are interested in participating but aren’t sure where to begin, or who would appreciate additional guidance, the site includes a list of questions and ideas as possibilities to write or inquire about. You may also contact Geoffrey Reynolds, director of the archives, via email at archives@hope.edu.