NEWS RELEASE: Historic Huguenot Street Appoints Prestigious Scholarly Advisory Board

NEW PALTZ, NY (January 29, 2015) – Historic Huguenot Street, one of the first organizations dedicated to preservation and education in the country, is pleased to announce that eleven historians have chosen to be part of its newly formed Scholarly Advisory Board. Their individual commitment to history and education will aid them in guiding the organization’s historic interpretations while overseeing the scholarship provided to guests at the museum and National Historic Landmark District. The board is chaired by Dr. L.H. Roper, Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz.

The eleven members of the Scholarly Advisory Board, including Dr. Roper, are Dr. Leslie Choquette, Professor of Francophone Cultures and Director of the French Institute at Assumption College, Worcester, Mass.; Dr. Joseph Diamond, Associate Professor and Anthropology Department Chair at SUNY New Paltz; Dr. Firth Haring Fabend, historian and author of New Netherland and colonial New York; Dr. Jaap Jacobs, Honorary Lecturer at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland; Dr. Wim Klooster, Professor and History Department Chair at Clark University, Worcester, Mass.; Dr. Dennis Maika, Associate for Education and Web Content at The New Netherland Institute, Albany; Dr. James Merrell, Professor of History at Vassar College; Dr. Paul Otto, Professor of American History at George Fox University, Portland, Oregon; Dr. Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, Professor of American Studies at the Université de Paris 8, France; and Dr. David Voorhees, Director of the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History in Hudson, New York.

This new board of scholars will help to ensure historical accuracy of the interpretive programming at the museum and National Historic Landmark while guiding interpretive goals for the future. These eleven historians offer fresh perspectives and a wide range of knowledge and research while sharing a mutual passion for American, French, Dutch, Native American, New York, Atlantic, and Huguenot history – all of which are a part of the Historic Huguenot Street’s story.

“Historic Huguenot Street is confident that this newly appointed Scholarly Advisory Board will aid us in interpreting and presenting our historic buildings, objects, and documents in the most educational and relatable ways,” said Mary Etta Schneider, Historic Huguenot Street President and Board Chair. “These scholars will provide instrumental scholarship and support as we continue to share the rich history of New Paltz and its Huguenot roots with the public. We are grateful and honored that they are now closely associated with us.”

  • Dr. Choquette received her Ph.D. in History from Harvard University and is Director of The French Institute at Assumption College, which serves to foster the preservation and research of French ethnicity in America. She has authored numerous works on the French in North America, including the prize-winning book, Frenchmen into Peasants: Modernity and Tradition in the Peopling of French Canada (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997).
  • In addition to serving as Anthropology Department Chair, Dr. Diamond instructs the Archaeology Field School at SUNY New Paltz, which performs annual archeological digs on Huguenot Street. A leading authority on Native societies of the Hudson Valley during the pre-contact and contact periods, Dr. Diamond received his Ph.D. from The University at Albany.
  • Dr. Fabend received her Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. She has published numerous books and novels on the Dutch colonial period in New York and New Jersey, including A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1991, 1999), which received the New York State Historical Association Annual Manuscript Award and the Hendricks Prize of the New Netherland Institute. Dr. Fabend is a Fellow of the Holland Society of New York and the New Netherland Institute.
  • Dr. Jacobs serves as co-editor – along with Drs. Roper and Van Ruymbeke – of the Journal of Early American History and book series The American Colonies, 1500-1830. He is the author of numerous works on New Netherland, including The Colony of New Netherland: A Dutch Settlement in Seventeenth-Century America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009) and is the co-editor with Dr. Roper of The Worlds of the Seventeenth-Century Hudson Valley (Albany: SUNY Press, 2014). Dr. Jacobs received his Ph.D. from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
  • A leading authority on Dutch activity in the Atlantic World during the early modern period, Dr. Klooster is the Chair of the Department of History at Clark University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Leiden, is co-editor Brill’s Atlantic World series, and has authored and co-edited eight books, including Revolutions in the Atlantic World (New York: New York University Press, 2009).
  • Dr. Maika is currently Associate for Education at the New Netherland Institute. In 2012, he was the Senior Scholar in Residence at the New Netherland Research Center and also Coordinator of the Teaching Fellows Program at the Rockefeller Archive Center. He received his Ph.D. in History from New York University; his dissertation was awarded the Hendricks Manuscript Prize. A Fellow of the Holland Society of New York, the New Netherland Institute, the New York Academy of History, he has served as a consultant for local history and education projects and has written numerous articles and papers. He is currently working on a book about Manhattan merchants and their city in the Dutch and English periods of seventeenth-century New York history. As a professional educator, he taught History and Psychology at the high school and college levels for several decades and won several teaching awards.
  • Dr. Merrell, the Lucy Maynard Salmon Professor of History at Vassar College, received his Ph.D.  from The Johns Hopkins University. He has written two Bancroft Prize-winning books on early American history—The Indians’ New World: Catawbas and Their Neighbors from European Contact through the Era of Removal (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989) and Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (New York: W.W. Norton, 1989), making him one of the few historians to have won the award twice. Into the American Woods was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.  Dr. Merrell also serves as a member of Historic Huguenot Street’s Board of Trustees.
  • Dr. Otto received his Ph.D. from Indiana University and currently teaches at George Fox University, where he serves as department chair for History, Politics, and International Studies. He has published extensively on seventeenth-century European-American relations, including The Dutch-Munsee Encounter in America: The Struggle for Sovereignty in the Hudson Valley (Bergahn Books, 2006), and received numerous research fellowships. He also serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Early American History.
  • Dr. Roper serves as co-editor – along with Drs. Jacobs and Van Ruymbeke – of the Journal of Early American History, and book series The American Colonies, 1500-1830. He is the author of numerous books and articles on seventeenth-century Anglo-America, including Advancing Empire: English Interests and Overseas Activity, 1614-1688 (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press).  Dr. Roper received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Rochester.
  • Dr. Van Ruymbeke serves as co-editor – along with Drs. Jacobs and Roper – of the Journal of Early American History, and book series The American Colonies, 1500-1830. A leading authority on the Huguenot diaspora, Dr. Van Ruymbeke has authored and co-edited numerous books and articles, including the prize-winning From New Babylon to New Eden: The Huguenots and Their Migration to South Carolina (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006) and L’Amérique avant les États-Unis. Une histoire de l’Amérique anglaise 1497-1776 (Flammarion, 2013), as well as The Huguenots in France and the Atlantic Diaspora, co-edited with Randy Sparks (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003). He received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from the Université de Paris III.
  • Dr. Voorhees is Director of the Jacob Leisler Institute for the Study of Early New York History located in Hudson, New York, as well as editor of the Papers of Jacob Leisler Project.  The Jacob Leisler Institute, which also houses the papers of Jacob Leisler (1640-1691), focuses on the transition period from Dutch to English culture in New York and New Jersey. Dr. Voorhees is also Managing Editor of de Halve Maen, a scholarly journal devoted to New Netherland studies published by The Holland Society of New York and the prize-winning author and editor of many essays on Leisler and his world. Dr. Voorhees received his Ph.D. from New York University.

A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street is a 501(c)3 non-profit that encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement, including seven stone houses that date to the early eighteenth century.  It was founded in 1894 as the Huguenot Patriotic, Historical, and Monumental Society to preserve their French and Dutch heritage.  Since then, Historic Huguenot Street has grown into an innovative museum, chartered as an educational corporation by the University of the State of New York, that is dedicated to protecting our historic buildings, conserving an important collection of artifacts and manuscripts, and promoting the stories of the Huguenot Street families, from the sixteenth century to today. 


Kaitlin Gallucci
Communications & Marketing Manager
(845) 255-1660