search collections
browse collections

Preserving the Past for the Future

DLHS is telling the stories of Long Islanders

Long Island University, “Digitizing Local History Sources”

We are testing a new interface for public access to “Digitizing Local History Sources.”  Please visit our test portal and let us know what you think!


Generous grants from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation are enabling the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University to digitize local history materials in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The initial $1.5 million in grants awarded in 2016 and 2017 provides fellowships for master’s and doctoral students to assist with the project.  In December 2022, the Robert David Lion Gardiner established an additional $1 million endowment for “Digitizing Local History Sources.”

We are pleased to provide public access to materials we have digitized to date:

  • 50 historical organizations
  • 83,000 images
  • 5,500 gigabytes of data

On this public site, you will be able to access and download low-resolution JPEG images.  Each organization has access to high-resolution uncompressed TIFF images through a non-public site.  Please contact the originating organization with questions about TIFF images as well as copyright and usage information.

We will continue to add new historical materials, highlight particular collections, and enhance the search functionality of the site.  Please visit often to explore primary sources documenting the people of Long Island!

For additional information, please contact the Project Director, Dr. Gregory S. Hunter, at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science:

Media Coverage

On January 30, 2023, Newsday published an article, “William Vanderbilt II Photos are Latest Digitizing Project at LIU Post’s Palmer School in Brookville.”

On November 2, 2022 Fox 5 New York reporter Jodi Goldberg covered the digitization of Walt Whitman’s Family Bible.  The full video is available at:

On June 13, 2022 the Project Director was interviewed by WHRU Radio, the Hofstra University Station.   We discussed “Digitizing Local History Sources” and the Culper Spy Ring.  The recording is available at:

On May 9, 2022, WCBS New York aired a feature story about DLHS.  Carolyn Gusoff visited the on-campus Digitization Lab and interviewed a Palmer School student.  The full video is available at:

On April 17, 2022, Newsday published a six-page feature story about the project.  The full article and a video are available at:

On November 26, 2021, Dan’s Papers published a story about the Bert Morgan Collection at the Southampton History Museum:

On November 17, 2021, a similar story was published in The Island Now.

On November 12, 2021, The Patch published a story about the Bert Morgan Collection:

Preservica highlights the project as a “Customer Success Story.”

Library Journal honored DLHS as one of the “best free resources of 2021.”

DLHS is included as a “best practices example” on the Website of the Roadmap for Participatory Archiving:


Participating Historical Societies

The Bayport-Blue Point Heritage Association was formed in 1983 and is dedicated to the preservation of the history of these two towns. The association has an extensive collection of archival photographs, vintage clothing, artifacts and books. Through the years, the group has been particularly active in the restoration of Meadow Croft, a John Ellis Roosevelt summer home and now a historical museum on the border of Bayport and Sayville. The association provides lectures and resources- educational, historical, environmental and social programs and services for the community and interested public.

The Bohemia Historical Society is a non-profit organization, chartered by the New York State Board of Regents dedicated to preserving the rich heritage found in Bohemia. The Society pursues this goal through its educational programs, involvement in community activities, the BHS Newsletter and tours of the museum, located at 1519 Locust Avenue, Bohemia.

The Cherry Grove Archives Collection is dedicated to the preservation of the social, political and cultural history of the LGBTQ(S) community of Cherry Grove, Fire Island, NY. The CGAC collects scans and shares this history through the protection and storage of its historic artifacts, including documents, photographs and film. Our purpose is to promote global appreciation of the rich and creative history of Cherry Grove as a safe haven for the LGBTQ community and their allies.

The mission of the Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society is to engage people of all ages in programs that highlight the lifestyles of the people and families that lived and worked on the peninsula throughout the years. Central to this mission is the preservation of the Sands Willets House (circa 1735) and the Thomas Dodge Homestead (circa 1721), which the Society operates as house-museums, serving as resources for the community.

The Davis Town Meeting House Society, Inc. was formed exclusively for the charitable purpose of restoring and championing the conservancy efforts for the historic Lester H. Davis House by working directly with the Town of Brookhaven Department of Parks and Recreation as well as the Town Historian on the historical design (circa 1850's), and fundraising for the restoration and conservancy of this wonderful bastion of antiquity that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is a designated Brookhaven Town Landmark. By doing so, the Corporation will lessen the financial burden on the Town as well as bring benefit to the residents of not only the Town of Brookhaven, but also Suffolk County and New York State.

The Fire Island Pines Historical Preservation Society is a group of the Pines community members whose mission is to collect, preserve, display, and celebrate the rich and colorful history of the Fire Island Pines for present and future generations. Established in 2010. We are a recognized not for profit working towards establishing an ongoing presence in the community to help establish an internet site devoted to the history of Fire Island Pines.

The purposes of Freeport Historical Society are to promote and encourage historical research; to gather and disseminate information concerning the early history of Freeport in the State of New York; to gather, to obtain by purchase, gift, devise or otherwise to preserve and to exhibit books, photographs, manuscripts, papers and relics relating to the history of Freeport and contiguous territory; and to preserved records of the recollections of residents of the area concerning its early history.

THE FRIENDS OF CEDARMERE, Inc. Dedicated to preserving the legacy of William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) and his beloved estate, Cedarmere. We are a volunteer, non-profit organization which aims to promote, encourage and actively assist in the preservation, restoration and maintenance of CEDARMERE's historic gardens, the main house, and outbuildings. The estate is on the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Underground Heritage Trail.

The Friends of Connetquot is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, conservation and history of the 3,473-acre Connetquot River State Park Preserve. We work to help management protect a pristine environment and historic buildings and artifacts. We also support educational programs, fishing facilities and hiking and equestrian trails.

One of the finest pre- Revolutionary War homes on Long Island, Rock Hall was built in 1767 for Josiah Martin, a wealthy West Indian plantation owner. The Georgian- style home belonged to two of the area's most famous families, the Martins and Hewletts. In 1948, the Hewlett family deeded Rock Hall to the Town of Hempstead. After an extensive restoration, it opened as a museum in 1953 and is owned and operated by the Town of Hempstead. The museum offers a guided tour, programs of historic interest, special lectures and an educational program for students. Visit the museum's cellar. The Warming Kitchen, Cold Storage Room and Wine Cellar offer fascinating views of the rarely seen working areas in an 18th century plantation- style home. Also located in the cellar is the museum's ongoing Archaeology Exhibit Room. There you will see a display of 18th and 19th century artifacts that continue to be uncovered during excavations at Rock Hall.

Founded in 1975, The Garden City Historical Society is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, chartered by the New York State Education Department. It is dedicated to preserving the historic character and ambiance of the Village of Garden City, and educating its members and the public in preservation and history related matters. The Society owns and operates The Garden City Historical Society Museum, an original 1872 A.T. Stewart-era Victorian structure.

The Greater Patchogue Historical Society has as its purpose, as stated in its constitution to foster and promote local interest in the history of the Greater Patchogue area, to collect and catalogue photographs, documents, tapes, memorabilia and artifacts about the Greater Patchogue area, to preserve the history of the Greater Patchogue area and make all this material available to interested groups and individuals.

Hallockville Museum Farm is a not-for-profit (501 (c)3) organization dedicated to take Long Island back to its family farming roots and explore their relevance today. We invite you to visit for a museum tour, attend an educational class or workshop, bring your friends and family to the special events, fairs and festivals throughout the year!

Our Parish is among Long Island’s earliest Episcopal (originally Anglican) congregations. We consider our founding date 1702, when England’s Society for the Propagation of the Gospel responded to Hempstead inhabitants who were seeking the services of the established Church of England by designating Hempstead a mission site for an Anglican parish. Reverend William Vesey and Reverend George Keith preached at St. George’s whenever possible until the first permanent rector, Reverend John Thomas, arrived in 1704. Since then, the succession of St. George’s has been unbroken. Reverend Thomas was responsible for the beginning of public education in Hempstead because he convinced the Hempstead citizens to create and maintain a fund for hiring a regular schoolteacher. In 1706, Queen Anne of England provided the new congregation with a silver plate and a Book of Common Prayer. In 1734 the rector and congregation members were granted a charter of incorporation by the Province of New York, transferring what had been the property of the town to this corporation “absolutely and forever.” In 1735, King George II granted a Royal Charter to the parish. The bylaws of the Royal Charter govern the congregation’s corporate life to this day. The 1648 meeting house was replaced in 1683, and again in 1735, at which time St. George’s famous rooster-shaped weather vane was mounted on its steeple. Fire destroyed the 1735 building in 1820, but the weather vane survived, and was affixed to the present church building, completed in 1822. The interior columns that still support the lofty sanctuary ceiling were hewn from oak trees dragged across the Hempstead Plains by teams of horses. The 1822 structure was extended in 1856 and remodeled in 1893 and 1906. Several of its many stained-glass windows were designed by Tiffany & Co. In 1854 the tower clock was purchased from Sherry and Brypan of Sag Harbor (four years before London installed Big Ben on the Palace of Westminster). St. George’s is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, along with its rectory, which has stood since 1793. During the American Revolution, Hempstead inhabitants remained loyal to King George III. St. George’s became a headquarters as well as a place to worship for British soldiers, who occupied Hempstead for most of the Revolutionary War. Local folklore has it that the rooster weather vane was used for target practice by Hessian mercenaries, leaving it with sixteen bullet marks. Our historic church represents stability, continuity, and insights conferred by our rich past. May we together share the blessings of life and love that God continues to reveal among us.

The Historical Society of East Rockaway and Lynbrook is an all volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the history of our villages. Our mission is to discover, document, and sustain the chronicle of our communities. We recognize that history is an ongoing account of the present, the past as well as insight into the future. We firmly believe that the knowledge of our corner of the county is rife with people, place and events which must not only be preserved but must be publicized so that our communities are aware of the rich heritage they enjoy.

The mission of the Historical Society of the Massapequas is to preserve the local history of Massapequa and Massapequa Park, and to educate people about the richness of our local heritage.

​​The Huntington Historical Society is the focal point for preserving the ongoing heritage of the Town of Huntington. We support this mission through public education programs, maintaining museums, collections and a regional research center; promoting the preservation of historic buildings and sites; and by partnering with local and regional institutions.

The Jewish Historical Society of Long Island, Inc. is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2021 to preserve and celebrate the Jewish history of Long Island in the state of New York. Our mission is to gather and preserve artifacts and information that tells the story of Jewish life in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and to share these learnings for the purpose of education and celebrating our local Jewish history.

Loading indicator

Powered by Preservica
© Copyright 2021-2023 Long Island University