Today a look at a new (to me) collection: Holland-America Passenger Lists 1900-1974, digitized at the Rotterdam City Archive (Gemeentearchief te Rotterdam), Netherlands. This collection also includes departure records from New York.
Archives of the Holland-America Line
Rotterdam archive has digitized and indexed records from the Archives of the Holland-America Line (HAL) (Collection #318-04). Holland-America first offered transatlantic trips, including one-way passage for emigrants. Along with Dutch immigrants from Netherlands, roughly one million Eastern Europeans sailed on Holland-America.
In 2018, reporter Marcia Tap interviewed archivist Anne Jongstra of the City Archives:
Jongstra picks up the passenger list of the SS Rotterdam in 1910. “This list contains a lot of Polish names. Many Polish Jews traveled to New York via Rotterdam. The list also shows that they booked their trip in Poland. ”
“Between 1880 and 1920 about one million Eastern Europeans moved to America via Rotterdam. The Holland America Line had offices [in] Bulgaria, Latvia and Russia. Tickets could be bought for the train to Rotterdam, the boat to America, and again the train to every station in the new world.”
Passenger lists include the ship, ports, names of passengers, class of travel, and how much the trip cost. Passenger lists from 3 May 1900 through 14 October 1974 are digitized and available for browsing. Crowd-sourced indexing via Vele Handen (Many Hands) is ongoing, so keep checking if you don’t find your emigrant at first.
Searching Holland-America Passenger Lists 1900-1974
Search by last name, first name, departure port, keyword, and/or span dates at the Rotterdam archive site. Wildcard searches are supported. The search interface also offers a list of all ports for Holland-America ships. Ports with the most records are Rotterdam, New York, Vienna, Boulogne-sur-Mer, and Hamburg.
Netherlands Passenger Lists Holland-America Line, 1900-1974 at FamilySearch offers 131,050 images for browsing, arranged by continents, then dates. The images were slow to load, so searching directly at Rotterdam with an index is probably best.