How do I cite a work by an author with a Dutch name that includes the word van?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

Particles in Dutch surnames—such as van, van den, van der, de, and ter—are lowercased in prose when the whole name is given:

Joost van der Berg plans to challenge Kaatje de Vries in the municipal council election.

When using only the last name, capitalize the particle:

Today the Volkskrant reported that De Vries would not seek a third term. The campaign office of Van der Berg could not be reached for a comment.

In an index or works-cited list, alphabetize a Dutch name by the main part of the last name and place the lowercased particle after the first name:

Berg, Joost van der

Ee, Elsa van, and Rolf J. Kleber

Vries, Kaatje de

The form of authors’ names in works-cited lists and in-text citations should match exactly:

(Ee and Kleber, “Child” 642)