His Specialty? Making Old New York Talk in Dutch

Historians in the News

ALBANY — Henry Hudson bobblehead? Check.

One-legged Peter Stuyvesant statuette? Yes.

A mirror emblazoned with the logo of New Amsterdam beer? Absolutely.

These are office knickknacks that only a true connoisseur of Dutch Americana could love. And there surely is no one who loves Dutch Americana more than Charles T. Gehring.

How else to describe a man who has spent the past 35 years painstakingly translating 17th-century records that provide groundbreaking insight and renewed appreciation for New Netherland, the colony whose embrace of tolerance and passion for commerce sowed the seeds for New York’s ascendance as one of the world’s great cities.

Toiling from a cramped office in the New York State Library here, Mr. Gehring, as much as anyone, has shed light on New York’s long-neglected Dutch roots, which have been celebrated this year, the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the river that bears his name....

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