Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science announced the publication of “Digitizing Local History Sources,” a groundbreaking five-year project and website offering the public access to more than 65,000 pages of historical materials from 45 participating historical societies across Long Island.
The endeavor was funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.
One of the highlights of the project is the Bert Morgan Collection, which contains more than 600 images digitized from negatives held by the Southampton History Museum.
Morgan, a prominent high society photographer, documented the “social set” and events in Southampton from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s.
Among the locations are the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course, the Southampton Bathing Corporation (“Beach Club”), and the Meadow Club of Southampton. The Bert Morgan collection can be viewed here: [https://liu.access.preservica.com/uncategorized/SO_3ad937de-be29-4001-9633-11a91e29a789/]
Ranked among the “Best Archival Science Programs” in the country by U.S. News & World Report, the Palmer School has offered 105 master’s and doctoral students the ability to digitize the documents since the project launched in 2017.
“Students of the Palmer School have become world-renowned archivists, historians and librarians,” said Long Island University President Kimberly R. Cline. “I am proud that LIU can offer them a unique experiential learning opportunity that will forever preserve the history of Long Island.”
The collection documents the breadth of life on Long Island: from the diary of a 1920s schoolgirl to the daily calendar of a World War II school superintendent; from the daily account book of an 18th century blacksmith to advertising scrapbooks from the quintessential Long Island department store; from 17th century deeds to 20th century real estate agent records; from photos of early 1900s automobile races to scrapbooks documenting the destruction caused by the Hurricane of 1938; and from the daily life of wealthy Gold Coast residents to the treasured photo albums of Fire Island community members.
According to Kathryn M. Curran, Executive Director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation, “Long Island’s historical societies’ archival collections are among their most valuable assets. RDLGF’s partnership with the LIU Palmer School of Library and Information Science offers students hands-on archival training while introducing our historic stewards to the best practices in handling and accessing their incredible resources. Having these collections available online will now easily expand research capabilities into Long Island’s rich heritage.”
The “Digitizing Local History Sources” project can be accessed by visiting this link. Current students of the Palmer School continue to digitize historical documents and update the collection on an ongoing basis. For additional information, please contact Project Director Dr. Gregory S. Hunter at Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science: [email protected].