The Fulbright Archives Online, 1949-2016 (excerpts)

Papers of the Dutch-American Fulbright Program

In September 1945, Democratic freshman Senator from Arkansas James William Fulbright launched the idea to organize a worldwide system of academic exchanges. His goal was to improve intercultural relations between the US and other countries through the mutual exchange of knowledge, skills, and projects. Within a year, President Truman signed the Fulbright Act, which allowed 35 foreigners to study in the US and 65 Americans to refine their studies abroad. Since then, the Fulbright Program, coordinated by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has expanded worldwide with projects, grants, and funding schemes that have so far seen the participation of more than 370,000 people including Nobel Prize laureates, Pulitzer Prize recipients, and students, researchers, and teachers at all the academic levels.

In 1949, the Fulbright Program was set up in the Netherlands as well. In order to better coordinate academic exchanges between the Netherlands and the US, the two countries formally established a bilateral United States Educational Foundation (USEF) in Amsterdam. Since then, that organization has changed its name twice. In 1972, USEF became the Netherlands America Committee for Educational Exchange (NACEE). NACEE in turn became the Fulbright Center in 2004. The documents collected by the USEF, NACEE, and the Fulbright Center are held by the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS) in Middelburg. However, due to privacy regulations and classification, the only part of this collection that is digitally available is its Section G.

Section G contains a large variety of historical sources on the foundation and development of the NACEE and the Fulbright Center, including speeches by and on Senator Fulbright, papers related to an earlier exchange organization, the Netherland-America Foundation, and personal recollections of alumni. Section G is therefore the perfect starting point for any research aimed at discovering the historical development of such a relevant cultural program.

This collection comprises 6,848 scans and is part of Transatlantic Relations Online: Digital Archives of the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, which is the result of ongoing cooperation between the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies and Brill.

Image caption: Joop van Bilsen / Anefo, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands and prince Bernhard receive the US Senator J. William Fulbright and his wife in Baarn, Utrecht, 1964 (Nationaal Archief, The Hague) - CC0

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Project Adviser
Dario Fazzi, Roosevelt Institute for American Studies

Scholars and students of cultural and public diplomacy, political and economic relations, migration flows, cross-cultural exchanges, the role of religion in foreign policy making, and American political, cultural, and economic hegemony in Europe.
Project adviser Dario Fazzi is Research Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies. His main field of study is US and Cold War history, with a particular focus on public diplomacy and transnational movements. His works and reviews on nuclear cultures, peace movements, youth protests, and transatlantic crossings have appeared in peer-reviewed journals, international collections, and edited volumes. He is the author of Eleanor Roosevelt and the Anti-Nuclear Movement: The Voice of Conscience, a systematic account of the former first lady and UN representative’s involvement in the first ban-the-bomb campaign of the Cold War. Dr. Fazzi teaches history courses at several Dutch universities, where he lectures on the US, the Cold War, and transatlantic relations. He is also project assistant for Leiden University’s Massive Open Online Course The Rooseveltian Century (Coursera).