Marian (Molly) Leech

before reservoir

Ph.D. Student

Ralph Shay Graduate Fellow


I am a third-year doctoral student in the department of history.

I study American Indian and early colonial Northeastern American history with a particular interest in the mid-Atlantic region and what the Dutch called "New Netherland" in the seventeenth century. I also study globalization and exchange in early modern Europe (Dutch Republic, late sixteenth-seventeenth centuries). 

My research examines Native American histories of today's New Jersey, the seventeenth-century fur and wampum trades, and contemporaneous merchant networks, industry, and fashion in early modern Europe.

In the past, my research has been supported by the Charles W. Wendell Grant from the New Netherland Institute (2020), The New-York Historical Society of Daughters of Holland Dames Short-Term Fellowship from the New-York Historical Society (2018), and the Sean Bratton Memorial Fund from the Archaeological Society of New Jersey (2018). My research has been shared at the annual meetings of Ethnohistory, Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), Modern Language Association (MLA), International Conference on Netherlandic Studies (ICNS), and American Anthropological Association (AAA). I have collaborated with researchers at the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) and the Research Center for Material Culture of the National Museum of World Cultures (Leiden). 

AdvisorsDaniel K. RichterJared Farmer

Committee: Daniel K. RichterJared FarmerMargaret BruchacShira Brisman






MA, with distinction, Department of Archaeology. Leiden University, Netherlands. 2019.

BA with honors, Department of Anthropology & Sociology. Lafayette College, Easton, PA. 2017.



Research Interests

Historical ethnography, archaeology, art history, spatial and environmental history, decolonizing methodologies, temporalities of landscape, heritage and memory, colonial cultures, colonial disorders, museum collections and collections research.