Pursuing the

COVID-19 Update:

As of 15 December 2020 the RIAS Library will be closed to visitors, in compliance with the government measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. These restrictions will be in force until 16 March 2021. In the meantime: stay safe!

"From the Vaults" is the RIAS library and archives blog, in which we highlight remarkable historical persons and events through documents from our collections.


“A Song of Our Own Great Country”: Constructing America in the New Deal’s Federal Music Program

COVID-19 abruptly changed the way we experience music. Musicians across the spectrum, from small jazz trios to large symphony orchestras, find themselves without an audience. The impact on the cultural industry is yet unclear. Ninety years ago, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, musicians were in a similar position, as the state of the economy did not allow many people to attend concerts. To save America’s cultural sector from collapse, president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal included several measures to assist cultural institutions. As part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a specific division called the Federal Music Program (FMP) was installed to help musicians survive the Great Depression. As both white symphony orchestras and black folk choirs found themselves without work, the New Deal presented a unique opportunity to redefine the American musical tradition, and with it, America itself. Read more.

Latest news

We are delighted to present here our annual newsletter, The Roosevelt 2020

The RIAS is now accepting submissions for this year’s annual Theodore Roosevelt American History Award (TRAHA) for the best MA thesis on American history defended at a Dutch university in 2020.

The Netherlands American Studies Review is the student journal of the Netherlands American Studies Association (NASA). Two RIAS PhD candidates, Debby Esmeé de Vlugt and Celia Nijdam, are part of the Editorial Committee of this review. The Committee is looking for papers for their Spring 2021 edition. 

The RIAS is pleased to offer a “Sustainable Freedoms Essay Prize” to a UCR student for the best essay on an issue that connects environmental issues to human rights. The essay may consist of a Senior Research Project or a term paper written for a specific UCR course.

We now invite proposals for our upcoming graduate seminar, which will be held as an online event on 10-11 June 2021.

On Thursday 21 January 2021, a day after Joe Biden's inauguration as President of the United States, the RIAS hosted the first Roosevelt lecture of 2021: "The Democratic Party and the US South: Past, Present, and Future." 

The RIAS staff wishes everyone the best for 2021!