Axinn Library

Grant Fosters Student Research

Three students spent the past year conducting extensive research using collections from the Long Island Studies Institute at Hofstra University thanks to a partnership with the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, an organization that supports the study of New York history.

“These projects were intended to give students experience doing research where the outcome was presented in a visual way,” said Geri Solomon, Assistant Dean for Special Collections at the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library. “The students learned so much, and they were able to educate others in the process.”

Social studies education graduate student Jillian Pallone ’20 worked on three of the six research projects. She studied and profiled three historic Long Island natives, each with a very different story to tell. The profile of Jeanne Carter-Tuthill, for example, provided a look at the development of Garden City, as well as a better understanding of childhood friendships and how kids interacted in the 1930s. 

“When you’re creating exhibits like this, you need to think about how the people you are studying would want to be portrayed,” said Pallone. “These projects definitely helped me to be more creative and match people with certain styles.”

Secondary education social studies major Dennis Morales ’20 and marketing alumna Lauren Farmer ’18 also worked on projects as part of the grant to the Long Island Studies Institute.

In addition to research opportunities, the $100,800 grant from the Foundation allowed 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. The grant also allowed them to 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.

Parts of the Hart Nichols Collection will be displayed in an on-campus exhibit this winter. More details to come.

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