Museum to Open "Actien Handel: Early Dutch Finance and the Founding of America" Exhibit

August 21, 2009

Museum to Open

New York, NY – On Tuesday, September 8, the Museum of American Finance will open “Actien Handel: Early Dutch Finance and the Founding of America,” an exhibit showcasing the relationship between early Dutch finance and the United States. On display will be financial documents from Amsterdam, including the oldest known share certificate, which was issued by the Dutch East India Company in 1606.

The exhibit will tie in with the city-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s exploration of the area that became New Amsterdam (and later New York), and will focus on the financial aspects of the area’s first 200 years. The exhibit is a collaboration among the Museum of American Finance, NYSE Euronext, Amsterdam City Archives and the Dutch Exchange Heritage Foundation (Stichting VvdE), and features exceptional documents from these organizations. In addition to the oldest share certificate (which was featured in the 2004 motion picture “Ocean’s Twelve”), the exhibit will include documents relating to early Dutch share trading, the bubbles of 1720, and John Adams’ successful bid to secure a loan from Dutch bankers on behalf of the Continental Congress, which was the first ever U.S. state loan.

The Museum will host an opening reception for “Actien Handel” on Thursday, September 10, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. This event is open to the public, and members of the press are invited to attend. To confirm attendance, or for more information, please contact Kristin Aguilera at 212-908-4695 or

“Actien Handel” is sponsored by NYSE Euronext and Stichting VvdE within the framework of Capital Amsterdam, a platform that promotes the rich financial history of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. It will be on display through October 17, 2009.

About the Museum of American Finance
The Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is the nation’s only public museum dedicated to finance, entrepreneurship and the open market system. With its extensive collection of financial documents and objects, its seminars and educational programming, its publication and oral history program, the Museum portrays the breadth and richness of American financial history, achievement and practices. The Museum is located at 48 Wall Street, on the corner of William Street, and is open Tues–Sat, 10 am – 4 pm. For more information, visit or connect with the Museum on Facebook or LinkedIn.


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