Tales from the Archives: The Rediscovered Manuscript of Ray Nies, a Unique Folk History of Holland with Prof. Michael DoumaThursday Nov 2 7:00pm
In the early 1940s, Holland’s Ray Nies wrote a curious and unique folk history of the area. For decades, this unpublished manuscript sat in the Holland Museum. In 2022, with the help of Robert Swierenga, Prof. Michael Douma edited the work and published it for the first time. Ray Nies’ book is a valuable and comedic look at local characters such as Piet Van Liere, a perpetual tipsy country veterinarian; Nik Fyte, a pugnacious and conniving farmer’s son who always won the county’s greased-pig catching contest at the annual fair; and “Professor Bailey,” who was no professor at all, but rather a type of entrepreneur who wore a sash and hat, owned a hamburger stand, and gave swimming lessons, even to dogs. In this Zoom presentation, Prof. Michael Douma will relate the history of Ray Nies, his rediscovered manuscript, and the process of publishing this gem of historical writing.
Michael Douma is a graduate of Hope College (‘04) and he earned his PhD in history from Florida State in 2011. He is currently an associate professor at Georgetown University’s business school, where he teaches courses in economic history of slavery and globalization. He has authored four books, edited four more, and has published numerous articles on the history of the Dutch in the United States.
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