Ask An Archivist: At-Home Preservation Series
These webinars are for those interested in getting some practical, professional advice about how to preserve your personal family archives, or are looking to learn something to bring back to their organizations. This will be a combination webinar, with slides shared on the screen, and live interaction with LILRC Digitization and Archives Coordinator, Nicole Menchise using items from her own home collection.
Webinars are free and available to all. Registration required. You will need to create a LILRC.org account and have a Zoom account to access the live meetings. CEUs ( .1 ) will be available to all that attend the live meetings.
Processing a Small Collection - Part II
Using a workflow, a small collection will be processed and housed. Second of two parts.
May 8, Friday 12:00-1:00 PM (live) - register at https://lilrc.org/event-3830061
Finding Aids 101
Finding aids are the key to locating archival and other primary source materials. Based on the previous “Processing” workshops, a finding aid will be created and components will be explained.
May 12, Tuesday 12:00-1:00 PM (live) - register at https://lilrc.org/event-3830063
Metal Cleaning and Preservation
Tips for cleaning and preserving silver and metal plated objects.
May 15, Friday 12:00-1:00 PM (live) - register at https://lilrc.org/event-3830067
Previously recorded workshops can be found at: https://lilrc.org/Ask-the-Archivist
Long Island Archives - May/June 2020 - p. 1
Volume 27 Issue 3
Long island Archives
Capturing COVID 19:
Documenting Community Struggles During the Pandemic
by Nicole Menchise
The North Shore Historical Museum's Director, Amy Driscoll, was the fist person to contact LILRC about her initiative to collect images and stories relating to the social and economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. She titled it "COVID-19 Letters to the Future,", and emailed a letter and submission guidelines to north shore schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and posted it on the museum's homepage (see http://www.northshorehistoricalmuseum.org/). In the letter she writes, "Inspired by the photographs, letters and personal artifacts in our collection, we recognize that people of all ages have a personal story to share about how this pandemic has impacted their lives."
It became clear that Driscoll wasn't the only one to understand the importance of collecting during this monumental chapter in American history, as I began seeing other organizations across the island take up the challenge. I spoke at length with Rebecca Grabie, Local History Librarian at Sag Harbor's John Jermain Memorial Library, about her methods. Her first thoughts when it came to the state's stay-at-home order was, "I should document this!" With camera in hand, she set out to with no plan at first. She knew that in a moment like this it was essential to collect and document as much as she could. In an email she sent to members of the Suffolk County Library Association's Long Island History Committee, she writes: "I started compiling the archive the second week of March. [COVID-19 archive for Sag Harbor] contains news stories, social media posts, photographs, videos, etc." Her project includes capturing screenshots of social media posts (not personal accounts), which she saves along with the original link to the image. It's all compiled on a spreadsheet. An archival copy of web pages are saved using Wayback Machine, a initiative of the Internet Archive. Encouraging Sag Harbor citizens to, "not do anything that would risk their or anyone else's safety," she has received positive results. "I have reached out to some of our local history regulars for photographs and video, and they have been very gracious in providing them."
Both national and state organizations have put together resources for archivists. The Society of American Archivists' Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) Section has created an annotated resource list for various community archiving initiatives. See the "Documenting Your Community's Experience of COVID-19: A Resource List" found at Resources for Response to COVID-19 Health Crisis. The Association of Public Historians of New York State rallied the troops, asking members: "Historians: Start Documenting COVID-19." You may also reach out to your local historical societies and libraries to see what you can do to help.
Scenes from Huntington Village taken by Nicole Menchise
Long Island Archives - May/June 2020 - p. 2
Recently released and upcoming books about
Long Island history
by David C. Clemens and Suzanne Johnson
Available now on amazon.com and arcadiapublishing.com
Once known as Little Cow Harbor, the coastal community of Centerport on Long Island’s north shore is rich in natural resources, including a beautiful harbor with several freshwater streams surrounded by wooded hills. Centerport was originally the site of several important mills, but in the late 19th century, it became a summer retreat for both the rich and the not so rich. Youth camps, most notably the Franciscan Brothers’ Camp Alvernia; guesthouses; and resorts as well as popular restaurants dotted the shoreline. In the early 20th century, large estates were established by the Vanderbilt, Van Iderstine, Burling, Morse, DeBrabant, Whitney, and Corbin families on the Little Neck peninsula. As the 20th century progressed, modest and generously sized houses replaced the small farms and many of the large estates. The unspoiled natural beauty and rich history has for centuries drawn residents whose love of Centerport continue to make our village a great place to live.
Huntington Harbor Lighthouse
by Antonia S. Mattheou and Nancy Y. Moran
Preorder on amazon.com and arcadiapublishing.com
In the early days, Huntington, New York, was known as part of the Gold Coast of Long Island. It was a busy area boasting summer hotels and docking facilities. Steamboats brought crowds to Huntington from New York City for outdoor fun. Mariners took advantage of landmarks to guide their craft into channels until 1857, when the Lloyd Harbor Light Station was built on a sandspit to guard the entrance of both Lloyd and Huntington Harbors. In 1907, the US Congress appropriated $40,000 for the construction of a new lighthouse to replace the Lloyd Harbor Light Station, which proved to be ineffective for the navigation of vessels entering Huntington Harbor. The Venetian Renaissance–style structure was completed in 1912 and had the distinctive appearance of a small castle. Thanks to the enormous efforts of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc., the beauty and uniqueness of the Huntington Harbor Lighthouse has been preserved.
Long Island Freemasons
by Ronald J. Seifried
Available now on amazon.com and arcadiapublishing.com
The first Masonic lodge in what is today Nassau and Suffolk Counties was constituted in 1793. For over 200 years, more than 70 lodges were founded and flourished in various locations from Amagansett to Great Neck. For the first time, some of the secrets of the Masonic fraternity are revealed in this book. Recovered from dusty lodge attics and closets, this selection of long-forgotten photographs and artifacts gives the readers a brief glimpse of what was taking place behind the closed doors of their local lodge. Long Island was the Masonic home of Theodore Roosevelt of Oyster Bay and, 30 years later, was honored by a visit to the Huntington Masonic lodge by his fifth cousin and fellow Mason Franklin D. Roosevelt. Masons continue to support the community through charitable endeavors, including the Masonic Medical Research Institute, Masonic Safety Identification Programs, Shriners Hospitals, and many more.
Summaries provided by https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/series/images-of-america-books
Long Island Archives - May/June 2020 - p. 3
Get a new perspective with some local history!
Long Island Archives - May/June 2020 - p. 4
Commentary by Nicole Menchise
Zoom fatigue.......at least that's what I'm calling it. It's been a lifeline for so many, but it's been tough. First there are the meetings. Now that people are becoming more familiar with Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Live, the meetings and meetups don't seem to stop. It's good if you are catching up on some past webinars that you have missed or are 'seeing' your colleagues in virtual meetup chats (LILRC has one every Wednesday at 2:00PM), but when they pile up, one right after the other, it can feel overwhelming.
My hat is off to anyone trying to juggle work, family life, and home-schooling. But it's not just the kids that are facing big changes. I think right now we're all learning.
We're learning that we can accomplish a lot of work online, and have found a way to share information so efficiently, that the typical work week might be a thing of the past.
We're learning to listen better. Because if everyone is talking nothing gets heard. Not to mention the annoyance of getting cut off because of a time delay. Thank goodness the morning news program anchors are (finally) taking a beat between questions and comments.
Sadly, we're also learning that people with ample time and limited brain cells pass that time by hacking into meetings in order to shock or offend unassuming attendees with hate speech and profanity. Sigh.
I've been coping by setting out time to unplug and give my devices (and my eyes) a rest. It's finally spring, so there's plenty to see and enjoy outside. Now I make time for silence - wherever I can get it. I also try to make a few Zoom meetings about fun. Before the stay-at-home order, some friends working in the archives/museum world would get together about every six weeks to meet and talk about work and life. Lately we've been doing that using Zoom and it's been great. The friends that could rarely come in person are definitely there online, and it's been nice to see their faces and hear their stories.
We're all doing the best we can to "stay together while being apart." Let's give ourselves a break...and a much deserved pat on the back. Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay in touch.
The Robert Moses Collection Project Still On Track Despite Delays
It is no secret that Robert Moses remains one of the most controversial political giants of the 20th century. Never before seen records relating to his time as chairman of the State Council of Parks and president of the Long Island State Park Commission from 1924 to 1963 are being processed and preserved by a small team of dedicated archivists.
In an article written by Project Archivist Jaime Karbowiak for the Long Island University Palmer School blog, she explains that the Robert Moses Collection Project, "is a rare initiative under which both private and public entities have come together with a commitment to bring to light this previously hidden collection of documentation related to one of the most significant figures in New York history." This collaboration between Long Island University, New York State Parks and the New York State Archives is partially funded by a generous grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.
Transferred from the Long Island State Parks Regional Headquarters building at Belmont Lake State Park in Babylon to the Long Island Parks Regional Archives at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, there
Continued on next page are over 500 cubic feet of records including correspondence and speeches that were recently uncovered.
"Working from home we are working on the descriptive parts of our finding aid that we can do [working] with NYS Archives and NYS Parks. Ordinarily we would create the finding aid after processing, but we are essentially able to continue the flow of our project we just have to do some rearranging of what we do when [we do it]." She continues, "the digitized images will go up on the New York Archives website. We're using their template for container lists and metadata to get all the information they need to be able to make those images available to the public." Karbowiak hopes to begin digitizing in the fall.
NYSCA/GHHN Grant Partnership Program
Provides Opportunities for Museums Across NY
Site Assessment Program - The grant will support professional services for a collections consultant who will come to your organization for a half-day site visit focusing on a collections related topic. A written report will follow the consultation. Maximum award: $650.
Supplies Program - Applicants who have consulted with an appropriate professional may request funds to purchase collections management supplies. Supply requests for archival or library collections will not be supported. Maximum award: $500.
Applications are due June 1, 2020 for both the Site Assessments and Supplies Grant Programs. Applicants may apply to both the Site Assessment and the Supplies Program in the same grant year by submitting individual grant applications. This is the 4th and FINAL year of this grant program and priority will be given to applicants who have not been funded in the past three years. Portal will open Monday, May 18, 2020. To learn more about this opportunity, please visit: www.greaterhudson.org/nyscaghhn-collection-needs-assessment.html
NEH Offers Emergency Relief Funding to Cultural Institutions Affected by Coronavirus
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced new grant guidelines designed to rapidly distribute CARES Act funding to cultural nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This new funding opportunity, NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations, will provide grants of up to $300,000 to sustain humanities organizations and preserve jobs in the cultural sector. Go to https://www.neh.gov/news/neh-offers-emergency-relief-funding-cultural-institutions-affected-coronavirus
Humanities New York Releases New Grant Guidelines to Distribute CARES Act Funding to New York Cultural Nonprofits
Emergency Relief Grants up to $20,000 are available to nonprofit cultural organizations that are based in and serve New York State. HNY CARES Emergency Grants will be focused on organizations with a core humanities mission. Application guidelines are available now on the HNY website. The deadline for applying for funding is May 15th, with applicants being informed of funding decisions by June 15th, 2020. Go to https://humanitiesny.org/our-work/emergency-grants
Long Island Archives - May/June 2020 Editor: Nicole Menchise, Digitization and Archives Coordinator
LILRC - 627 N. Sunrise Service Rd., Bellport, NY 11713, www.lilrc.org.
Time to cash in!