The Long Island Studies Institute, part of Hofstra’s Special Collections Department, will create a Long Island Business and Industry Catalog thanks to recent funding from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation.
Long Island has transformed many times over the last 200 years; from an agricultural identity to, most recently, a suburban one. Evidence of these transformations are visible in the types of businesses Long Islanders pursued. And the Long Island Studies Institute has acquired an abundance of business-related documents that they will now be able to catalog thanks to the $96,000 grant.
“Having the funds to process and make available historical collections is extremely important,” said Geri Solomon, Assistant Dean for Special Collections at the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library. “Businesses that once flourished, the aviation industry and summer resorts, for instance, have been replaced by other endeavors. Not many residents today know about these once thriving local industries. We will create an online inventory of our materials and digitize examples from the collections so everyone can see what types of materials we have here at Hofstra.”
The findings will be made available online and researchers will be able to search the listings for name of industry, type of industry, location, personal names associated with the business, what types of material are available, and the date spans of each collection. The project is expected to take about 14 months.