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Emigration periodicals part of resettlement support system

Volumes in Windmill Archives short and incomplete

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LANGLEY, BC - Windmill Archives for its Project I Remember wishes to expand and possible complete the collection of periodicals, newsletters and bulletins from the various emigration societies in the Netherlands. These groups published periodicals for their members as far back as the 1950s.

In the post-WWII era various groups and umbrella organisations were involved in emigration endeavours. They were organized largely along confessional lines, the Christelijke Emigratie Centrale (CEC, prot-estant-christian), the Gereformeerde Emigratiestich-ting (GES, Reformed-liberated), the Katholieke Emigratie Centrale (KEC) as well as the Algemene Emigratie Centrale (AEC, the general, non-confessional group). The Dutch groups which required ac-creditation by the government in order to act as agent and facilitator for people wishing to emigrate, usually maintained close ties with immigration societies and other such groups in Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the U.S.A. Some of these overseas groups overseas also printed their own bulletins but most frequently distributed Dutch publications to their members or agents.

The AEC, CEC, GES and KEC together formed an umbrella in which other interested parties such as the Dutch government through its Department of Sociale Zaken, Directoraat Emigratie also were involved.


In the immigration countries (Canada is a good example), the various groups also were part of an umbrella arrangement as well. The huge distances and the vast differences per region also demanded a similar set-up on a provincial level, and prompted communication via bulletins and newsletters.

Not every issue could be filled with original material. It was easier to launch a publication than to keep it interesting with fresh articles and reports. Such shortage often was solved by reprinting all or parts of articles from other sources as well as amateur attempts at describing opportunities in, for example, isolated places.

Among the articles were annual reports but also eye-witness accounts by chaplains who, following a commissioned trip across as protestant pastors or roman catholic priests, would travel on to survey the country and visit their flock in the dispersion. From ship passenger lists, it safely can be concluded that pastoring emigrants aboard became the initial step for their own emigration for a number of Reformed ministers. Those who stayed in the Netherlands after such a journey abroad, often had some involvement with the emigration process later on.


The collection of Contactblad voor Emigranten (GES, 1953-1967), Elders (Emigratiebestuur, 1976-1989), Emigratie (1958-1962), Emigratiekoerier (CEC, 1968-1974), and Emigratie Kroniek (Neder-landse Emigratiedienst, 1958-1963) is incomplete with the early years mostly underrepresented in Windmill Archives.

It may be through a lack of KEC material and of the earlier volumes of the Emigratiekoerier that so far very few reports by chaplains have been made accessible. The reports that were published seem to be reprints of local church newsletters.

The chaplaincy on the ships most likely had been arranged through the emigration societies and the Dutch Council of Churches.

The Windmill Archives can be reached via the addresses of the The Windmill Herald. Before submitting material as described above, please call Albert at 1-800-881-0705.