Students will now have advanced research capabilities at the Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University, thanks to a $100,800 grant from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, a charitable organization that supports the study of New York history.
Both the Institute, which is headed by Geri Solomon, Assistant Dean for Special Collections at the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, and the Foundation are at the forefront of preserving Long Island’s history.
“The Long Island Studies Institute is a place where students and scholars from around the world can come and learn about the development of this important region,” said Solomon, who is also the University’s archivist. “We want to be a vital part of people’s research, and this grant allows us to continue to make that possible.”
The partnership provides resources that will allow Solomon and her staff to:
- Catalog and process the archives of the Hart Nichols Collection, which documents two prominent Long Island farming and clerical families. The papers in this collection represent the accumulation of over 150 years of history.
- Purchase materials vital to preserving Long Island history, particularly those documenting the history of women on Long Island, as well as older maps and atlases.
- Provide two students from Hofstra and a third from Long Island the opportunity to perform research using the Institute’s collections. Students will receive a stipend for their work, which will be highlighted on the Institute’s website. Historical research outreach in k-12 schools on the island will also be funded.
“The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation recognizes the importance of Hofstra University’s Long Island Studies Institute and is delighted to fund these projects,” said Kathryn M. Curran, the Foundation’s executive director.
Once processed, portions of the Hart Nichols Collection will be exhibited both physically and online, giving the Institute a larger presence in the world of digital archives.
“We are grateful to the Gardiner Foundation for helping us to expand and preserve the collection,” said Dr. Bob Brinkmann, Vice Provost for Scholarship and Engagement and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. “Students and researchers for generations will have access to important historical materials that will inform them about the past.”