Heleen2I am a Dutch archivist who had her archival training in London, England, and has worked as an archivist in the United States since 1998. I have experience with historical materials ranging from 18th century Dutch family papers, to 19th century English poor law union and business records, to 20th century American institutional records, family and personal papers, photographs, and audiovisual materials. I love to find the stories behind archival documents and present them to the public in blogs and exhibits.

When working at University Archives and Special Collections, Rutgers University, I discovered the Dutch farm ledgers of a cousin of the first owner of Sojourner Truth, a major slave owner in Rochester, Ulster County, NY. Since, I have developed a particular interest in the hidden history of enslaved people and unlocking their stories that are buried in the archives.

At home in Princeton, New Jersey, I am a children’s writer, presently developing a program for children and teachers using shadow puppetry as an interactive educational tool to act out stories about fugitive slaves.