Robert Schoone-Jongen

Robert Schoone-Jongen


  • B.A., History, Calvin College
  • M.A., European History, University of Kentucky
  • M.A., U.S. History, University of Delaware
  • Ph.D., major field: 19th century U.S. social history, minor field: 19th century Western European social history, University of Delaware


My hobbies are stamp collecting (Central Europe and the British Empire), the Minnesota Twins, and railroads. I am designing a new model railroad layout and ride trains as often as possible. I enjoy watching old television shows and attending the performances of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Grand Rapids Opera Company. I attend Calvin Christian Reformed Church and sing in the choir when I can.


Academic interests

Bob Schoone-Jongen, who taught high school history for 27 years before coming to Calvin, was the advisor for secondary education in history and social studies. He co-directed the 2012 NEH Summer Institute for Teachers, “American Frontiers in Global Perspective.” 

There are three historical themes that Professor Schoone-Jongen finds fascinating: human migration patterns, the definitions people give themselves and place upon others, and the manner in which events are interpreted both at the moment and after the fact. The specific historical contexts upon which he concentrates are immigration to the United States through 1920, the American presidency, and the impact of religion on everyday lives.

Though retired, Dr. Schoone-Jongen continues to study, write, and teach. This year he will teaching a CALL class, "The White House Wives" at Calvin and another class entitled "Dutch Immigration Was More Than West Michigan"  for the OLLI program at Aquinas College. He has been a fellow at the Van Raalte Institute at Hope College, where he has been working on a history of Dutch immigration to the Paterson, New Jersey area. He presented the keynote address at the June 2019 biennial conference of the Association for the Advancement of Dutch American Studies. His topic was "Dutch Immigrants and Education: Where Winning Meant Losing." In fall 2019 he will deliver a lecture at Hope College on the topic "Paterson, New Jersey: Dutch Immigration’s Largest Afterthought (1846-1950)."

Read Bob Schoone-Jongen's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.



"Windmills Across America: The Dutch in America since 1624." Webinar for the Netherland-America Foundation, Washington, DC, Chapter on December 1, 2020. Recording available on Vimeo.


"Flames in the Night: World War I Flares Up in Iowa."  Origins XXXVI (2018): 4-12.

"Religion in Riverside: Two Churches and Two Dutch Identities in One Neighborhood (1880-1920)." The Castle Genie. Newsletter of the Passaic County New Jersey Historical Society Geneology Club (Summer, 2011): 1-6.

“Dateline Orange City, Iowa: De Volksvriend and the Creation of Dutch American Community in the Midwest, 1874-1951.”  The Annals of Iowa 69 (2010): 308-331.

“There Was Work in the Valley: Dutch Immigration to New Jersey, 1850-1920.” Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis 10 (2010): 56-81.

"St. Thomas's Episcopal Church, Newark, Delaware: The Building and the Symbol, 1842-1957." Delaware History 33 (2010): 1-22.

Book Chapters and Essays

"Fighting at the Borders: Dutch Americans and the Patterson Silk Strike of 1913." In Across Borders: Dutch Migration to North America and Australia, edited by Jacob N. Nyenhuis, Suzanne M. Sinke, and Robert P. Swierenga. Holland, MI: VanRaalte Press, 2010: 199-209.

“De Volksvriend and Dutch American Connections.” In Dutch-American Arts and Letters in Historical Perspectives, edited by Robert P. Swierenga, Jacob E. Nyenhuis, Nella Kennedy. Holland, MI: Van Raalte Press, 2008: 183-191.

“Churches Bigger Than Windmills: Religion and Dutchness in Minnesota (1885-1928)." In Going Dutch: Holland in America, 1609-2009, edited by Joyce D. Goodfellow. Amsterdam: Brill, 2008: 157-78.

“Classis Minnkota,” written for the Christian Reformed Church’s 150th anniversary celebration held in Edgerton, Minnesota on June 3, 2007.

Book Reviews

Janet Sjaarda Sheeres, Son of Secession: Douwe J. Vander Werp. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2006 for Michigan Historical Review.

George Harinck and Hans Krabbendam, eds., Morsels in the Melting Pot: The Persistence of Dutch Immigrant Communities in North America. Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2006 for Fides et Historia (Spring 2007).


“Current Events: The News as Lesson Planner,” “Simulations: Games That Teach,” “Geography.” B. J. Haan Education Conference, Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, March 15-16, 2007.

“So What’s Happening in Platte?: How De Volksvriend Maintained Dutch-American Connections” presented at the meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Dutch American Studies at Hope College on June 1-2, 2007.


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