Ulster County Clerk, Nina Postupack proudly announces a new permanent exhibit at the Matthewis Persen House Museum & Cultural Heritage Center, 74 John Street, Kingston, NY. This new exhibit, titled ‘Gysbert’s Inventory: A Reflection of 1665 Dutch Life in Wiltwyck’, focuses on the 1665 Inventory of the first resident of the House, Mr. Gysbert Van Imbroch. Originally written in Old Dutch, this primary source document was translated to English circa 1900 and lists all items found in the house at the time of Mr. Van Imbroch’s death in 1665. This document provides a wonderful lens by which we can learn what Dutch life was like in the 17th Century.
“This exhibit allows us to take one of our oldest documents and makes it relevant in today’s world,” states Ulster County Clerk Nina Postupack. “It brings the records out of the Archives and into people’s everyday lives, and the Persen House is the perfect venue. It is located in the heart of uptown Kingston’s National Historic District and receives more than 2,500 visitors a year. It is our hope that this new exhibit will draw even more visitors to Ulster County.”
The exhibit was made possible by a grant from the New York State Archives Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) which was awarded to the County Clerk’s Office in the 2015-2016 grant cycle. The grant funded the design and production of nine interpretive exhibit panels representing Gysbert’s inventory and the items listed on it. A short video was also produced depicting the function of the County Clerk’s Office in relation to caring for the record and the provenance of the 1665 inventory.
Gysbert Van Imbroch’s 1665 Inventory is also part of the curriculum guide titled, Wiltwyck: A Look at life in a Dutch 17th Century Ulster County Town. Also created with funding from a LGRMIF grant, this curriculum focuses on colonial era life in the village of Wiltwyck, the area that is now uptown Kingston. Copies of the curriculum guide are available at the Matthewis Persen House and through the County Clerk’s Office.
Gysbert’s Inventory can be viewed at the Matthewis Persen House Museum at 74 John Street in Kingston. The museum is open May 28 to September 3, Tuesday through Friday 9am–4:30pm & Saturdays 9am–3pm. Starting September 10, the museum is open Saturdays only from 10am–2pm or by appointment. Closing day for the season is November 19, 2016. The Persen House gladly welcomes tour groups and school field trips as well as individual visitors.
For further information about this exhibit and other programs of the Ulster County Clerk’s Office, or to schedule a guided tour of the Matthewis Persen House, please call County Clerk Nina Postupack at (845) 340-3040.