Re-post: Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade

This review of a traveling historical exhibition, which will be on view at the United Nations Headquarters in New York until March 30, reminded me of the work that the Bell Library has set for itself in the types of exhibits that will appear in the newly remodeled and reimagined Bell Room. These exhibits, focused on the marginalized and under-represented, must necessarily consider painful stories.

Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade

In last year’s opening exhibit, one of the panels highlighted a Bell Library archive containing the papers of six Dutch plantations in Surinam. This substantial collection, the De Mey van Streefkerk papers, should be studied further, particularly now as the Dutch too come to grips with their historical role in the this inhuman trade.

Two panels from the inaugural Bell Room exhibit, “Hidden in Plain Sight,” relating to slavery in South America, and highlighting records from the De Mey van Streefkerk Papers. These papers have been digitized and are available in Umedia.

The next Bell Room exhibit, “Becoming Greenlanders,” opens mid-May 2023.


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