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Adriana B. and Peter N. Termaat collection

Identifier: RHC-144

Scope and Contents

Collection contains genealogical, personal, and family papers and photographs documenting the lives and interests of Adriana and Peter Termaat. The bulk of the materials are related to family history and genealogical research carried out by the Termaats, including research notes and materials about places in the Netherlands that were significant to the Termaat and Schuurman families, such as the city of Alkmaar.

Other materials in the collection are related to the Termaats' experiences on the eve of and during the Second World War, especially the German occupation of the Netherlands and the Termaats' participation in organized resistance to the Nazis. Also included are materials that document the family's post-war life in the United States, including their public efforts to recognize, commemorate, and honor people and events significant to World War II. Additionally, the collection includes subject files of topics that were of interest to the Termaats, as well as a collection of books. A great deal of the materials are in Dutch.


  • 1869 - 2012
  • Majority of material found within 1930 - 1990


Language of Materials

Most of the materials relating to World War II, particularly those from the 1930s and 1940s, are written in Dutch. Most of the other materials are in English, and a few items are in German.

Access to Materials

Collection is open for research use. Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.

Publication Rights

The collection is the physical property of Grand Valley State University, but all literary rights are retained by the original creators of materials, their estates, heirs, or third parties. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure appropriate permissions for publication beyond the bounds of fair use.

Biographical Notes

Pieter Nicolaas Termaat (born in Kampen, Netherlands on March 7, 1914. Died in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 24, 1997).

Adriana B. (Schuurman) Termaat (born in Diemen, Netherlands on February 21, 1916. Died in Grand Rapids on June 28, 2014).

The Termaats were born and raised in the Netherlands and they met each other as active members of the Dutch National Youth Organization. They later married and started a family. During the German occupation of the Netherlands, the Termaat family collaborated with Dutch resistance forces, secreting Jewish refugees and Allied airmen from Nazi persecution between 1940 and 1945. During this period they also experienced the effects of forced labor and starvation rationing imposed on them by the Nazi regime.

Following the war, the Termaat family immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s with their four young sons, Cornelis (Keith), Nicholas, Michiel and Peter and settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They owed much of their experiences and activities to their deep commitment to Christianity and throughout their lives they were greatly motivated to act in accordance with their faith and values. In Grand Rapids, they were members of the Central Reformed Church, where Peter was once elected Deacon and Elder.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Termaats made a conscious effort to publicly recognize, remember, and commemorate the events of the Second World War. They believed it was important to educate the world about the evils of Nazism so that it would never be repeated. During this period, the Termaats lectured about the Holocaust and at Grand Valley State University, in particular working with Professor William Baum. In 1985, the Israeli organization Yad Vashem recognized Termaats as "Righteous Among the Nations." The Dutch government officially recognized the Termaats' participation in the Resistance, awarding them the "Resistance Memorial Cross." Grand Valley awarded the couple Honorary Doctorates in 1986.


8.3 Linear feet (20 boxes, 70 volumes)


The collection is organized into the 5 series: 1) World War II: Occupation of Netherlands, Resistance, and the Holocaust, 1915-2007; 2) Family history and genealogy research, 1869 - 2012; 3) Recognitions/awards and post-war public activity; 4) Subject files; and 5) Books.

Adriana B. and Peter N. Termaat collection
Dutch Resistance, genealogical papers, awards and recognitions
Angelo Moreno
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Seidman House
1 Campus Drive
Allendale MI 49401 United States