Cozy up to Online Programs
25th Annual Archives Conference:
Collecting and Preserving the Stories of U.S. Veterans
by Nicole Menchise
This has been the year for making lemonade out of lemons, and the 25th Annual Archives Conference was no exception. In the early months of this year, I worked with the Committee for the Preservation of Local History to determine the conference topic.
Being that this was a milestone year (twenty-five and counting!), it demanded special attention. It was determined that the focus of the conference would honor the men and women who have served our country. Then came COVID-19.
It didn't take long to figure out that the conference would have to be held via Zoom. Instead of lamenting the loss of an in-person conference, I seized the opportunity to go outside our region to locate institutions that work to achieve the daunting task of collecting and preserving the stories of United States veterans all year round.
This new-normal virtual format meant that LILRC could host a full day of presentations, allowing attendees the option to drop in and out as needed. From the statistics we gathered a majority stayed from start to finish.
The day began with a look inside the archives of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kimberly Guise, Assistant Director for Curatorial Services and Emily Hindin, Assistant Director for Digitization spoke about their ongoing Digital Archives Research Service project and their collection of V-mail, a specialized stationary that was developed for airmailing bulk correspondence to and from troops overseas.
Next, Kathryn Heaviside, Community Service Librarian at Northport-East Northport Public Library, presented on their Ink Stories: Symbols of Service exhibition. This presentation really inspired attendees as the stories and images were heartfelt and deeply personal.
The final presenter of the morning was Edna Susman, Reference Librarian at Half Hollow Hills Community Library and Director of the Veterans Testimonial Project. Her efforts to record the oral histories of veterans who have served in conflicts, from World War II to the current Global War on Terrorism, have been permanently deposited with the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project.
During the lunch hour we were treated to a virtual tour of the American Airpower Museum, located on Long Island at the former Republic Aviation Corporation manufacturing site in Farmingdale, New York. Lawrence Starr, guided us though their many exhibits, dioramas, models and working aircraft.
The final presentations of the day came from two National Park Service employees currently working at the Gettysburg National Military Park and Museum. In his presentation Material Connections To Hallowed Ground: Linking Artifacts of Civil War Soldiers to a Present Experience, Greg Goodell, Museum Curator, showed us how his staff investigates objects to determine provenance. Christopher Gwinn, Chief of Interpretation and Education, shared incredible images of the Gettysburg veteran reunions held in 1913 and 1938. What Gettysburg Meant: Union and Confederate Veterans Remember America's Most Famous Battle illuminated the controversy and contention that enveloped the reunions and the post war monuments that exist on that hallowed ground.
I want to thank our presenters, our sponsors, the LILRC staff and the Committee for the Preservation of Local History for their time and support.
See you next year!
Volume 27 Issue 6
Long island Archives
"Toasted tootsies" at the Merrick Road Park Clubhouse courtesy of the Merrick Historical Photographs digital collection from Merrick Library and New York Heritage
Digitization Best Practices and Metadata Basics
Friday, December 11
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Ask An Archivist: Rolled Documents Do's and Don'ts
Tuesday, November 17
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Save the date...
Copyright Myth-busting for Archives and Special Collections
Friday, December 18
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Long Island Archives - November/December 2020 - p. 1
Coming in 2021...
Ask An Archivist preservation workshop series continues!
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2020 ANNUAL ARCHIVES CONFERENCE CORPORATE SPONSOR
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Recently released and upcoming books about
Long Island history
Q&A with Vanessa Nastro, author of
Along Manhasset Bay
What was your initial inspiration?
My research for Along Manhasset Bay began four years ago when the Library’s Nautical Advisory Council approached the Local History Center with an idea to create a virtual boating tour of Manhasset Bay in Port Washington. Between the council, myself and a volunteer we were able to gather photographs and information about the Bay which we had planned to use in some way for a virtual project. However, we didn’t find a platform we thought could support the project, so it fell by the waste side for several years. It was only after I began reaching out to community members for their personal stories that the idea was resurrected. Many of the personal accounts included life either on or around the Bay. I spoke with community members who had owned marinas and worked in the shipbuilding trade, and descendants of families who were among some of the first to live in the residential homes that cropped up around the Bay in the 1920s and 30s. Not only did they share their stories, they also shared their personal photographs, several of which are featured in the book.
How did you find the research experience to be and where did you look?
I loved the field research and community outreach. So much of the information I uncovered came directly through word of mouth and residents connecting me to other residents and organizations. Since the book covers other North Shore communities, I reached out to libraries and historical societies in Manhasset and Great Neck. I also reached out to several local organizations such as the Cow Bay Peninsula Historical Society, the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club and the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee. I purposely included excerpts from our oral history collections in many of my captions. Since so much of the information I gathered came from conversations with locals, I felt adding oral histories into the captions added a stronger perspective to the narrative.
What were your unexpected finds?
One of my top finds was the image that ended up making the cover. It perfectly conveys the story of life along the Bay. Up until that point we didn’t know this image existed. What’s even more interesting is that we found variations of this photograph in three of our special collections named after former Port Washington families. Although there is no information about the photograph, we were able to date it due to the lack of certain long-standing businesses not seen in the background.
What were your frustrations?
It was frustrating trying to follow up with certain outside organizations or not being able to include certain images due to our lack of information. In one instance, I had hoped to include in the book an image of one of our yacht clubs. We had almost no information on this image, so I asked my volunteer to put up a copy of the image in the lobby of the yacht club. We were convinced someone at the club would have information for us. We received no calls about it until after the book was published. However, I am thankful to that resident because we now have substantial information to include in our inventory files.
Anything you think the readers want to know?
The Local History Center is currently developing a historical walking tour of Manhasset Bay.
The Port Washington Historical walking tour app will allow users to explore the rich history of the town of Port Washington at their own pace, either alone or with a group. The walking tour will include locations related to the earliest farming settlers, the American Revolution, fishing, clamming, and oystering, recreation on the bay, boatbuilding, sandmining, aviation history, and more. A walking tour is an ideal way to visit these notable locations and will be an entertaining and informative experience for locals and tourists alike. The free app, which can be downloaded on any smartphone via the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, utilizes the phone's GPS system to pinpoint the user's location as they travel along the walking tour route. As the user approaches the designated points, they can access historical images and text (languages other than English available) about the location. Additional tours are planned, including a boating tour which will allow sailors and kayakers to view historical images of the Port Washington shoreline and notable sites on Manhasset Bay from the water.
Along Manhasset Bay can be purchased through Arcadia Publishing, Amazon and the Port Washington Public Library Local History Center online bookstore.
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Imagine the possibilities. A walking tour of your historic house or grounds made super easy. Gorgeous 360 panoramic photographs from above and below, not just side to side. Simple to use, easy to hold, and easy to edit using an app on your phone. This gizmo can be a social media game changer. Check it out for free through LILRC's equipment loan program. See more at www.LILRC.org/Equipment.
LILRC Equipment Loan Featured Item:
Samsung 360 Camera
2020 ANNUAL ARCHIVES CONFERENCE SPONSOR
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Help Those Looking for Your Local Primary Source Materials!
Remember how long you spent scanning the best images and writing great metadata? Don’t let all that hard work go to waste! Make sure people can find, see, and stumble upon your digital collections on New York Heritage and your newspapers on NYS Historic Newspapers.
If you have a collection on New York Heritage, try adding the NYH logo to your website with a link to your collection. We have logos and sample text for you to use - just contact your liaison for more details. Collections on nyheritage.org that are linked from an institution’s own website experience significantly higher traffic than those that don’t. For example, Bellmore Memorial Library's local postcards and photographs (80 objects) had 670 views in a month!
If you contributed newspapers to NYS Historic Newspapers, you can find the logos available here on the lower left side of the page: https://nnyln.org/nyshn-tools/. We also suggest that you link to NYS Historic Newspapers alongside your subscription newspaper databases for extra visibility.
The people most likely to love your digital collections are in your community, so make sure to show off your work!
Ask An Archivist....
A patron asked me if there are ways to replace a dust cover jacket for a set of books. She said her jackets are faded from the sun hitting them - I understand that this damage is irreversible. Is there a way for her to find replacement jackets...Or would you recommend getting Brodart covers (to place on top of the original jackets) to prevent further damage?
I would imagine it's very difficult to get a publisher to send over a new book jacket, and depending on the age and rarity of the publication, it might be impossible.
Archival product supply companies offer poly-based (never PVC) book jacket protectors, but they don't offer protection against potential natural/UV light exposure. There are UV-filtering 'sheets' that can be cut down and used as book jacket covers, or in conjunction with the aforementioned products, but this could get very expensive depending on the number of books that require protection.
Without knowing the details of your patrons collection (size, rarity, extent of damage), my best advice is to store the books away from direct sunlight and perhaps rotate them in and out of short-term storage to avoid light altogether.
If you have questions, feel free to contact Nicole Menchise, Digitization and Archives Coordinator at email@example.com or call 631-675-1570 x2004.
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Long Island Archives - November/December 2020 Editor: Nicole Menchise, Digitization and Archives Coordinator
LILRC - 627 N. Sunrise Service Rd., Bellport, NY 11713, www.lilrc.org.