Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Long Island Memories

Huntington Public Library has joined with LILRC (Long Island Library Resources Council) and other libraries throughout Long Island in digitizing items of local historical interest. Visit Long Island Memories and explore Huntington and other Long Island libraries' array of unique resources. The digital collection contains old historical documents, photographs, postcards, rare books, newspapers and more.

Below is a scanned image of an original Land Deed between Samuel Ketcham and Nathaniel Ketcham from December 10, 1704. The deed refers to land in Huntington, the easternmost purchase on "half hallow hills." It's a sample from a three volume set of original documents entitled Long Island Documents, compiled in 1938 by Dr. Theodore Lyman Frost, librarian of the Huntington Public Library.

Long Island Memories is an ongoing project, so check back often for new additions to the digital collection.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Library History

Huntington Public Library is one of the oldest public libraries in Suffolk County with roots dating back to 1759. Thirty-nine people joined together to form the first circulating library in Huntington with Rev. Ebenezer Prime as the first "library-keeper". The library consisted of 115 volumes which were housed in a "box of shelves". A book could be borrowed for two months but a fine of "one copper per diem" per book was charged.

The library was destroyed during the British occupation of Huntington during the Revolutionary War and it emerged again in 1801 as a circulating library. It was known as the Huntington Lyceum between 1827 and 1843. Again it was reorganized as the Huntington Library Association until 1858. In 1869, the Huntington Lyceum emerged once more; featuring debates and lectures, and developed into the Young Men's Literary Association and continued until 1871. Mary Talmage was considered to be the "mother of the library" because of her dedication to library services. The first Board meeting was held at her home in 1875. It was in 1875 that the Huntington Library Association was formed and it became incorporated in 1883. Through fundraising efforts, the construction of the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building was completed in 1892 and became the site for the new library.

Suffolk Historic Newspapers

The Suffolk County Cooperative Library System, fifty-six public libraries in the county, historical societies and the business community are working together to offer a fully indexed and searchable database of local newspapers, Suffolk Historic Newspapers. The collection includes, The Long Islander from Huntington (1839-1925), The Corrector from Sag Harbor (1858-1871), The Long Island Traveler, from Cutchogue and Southold (1883-1893), The Port Jefferson Echo (1892-1931), Sag Harbor Express (1885-1898), The South Side Signal from Babylon (1869-1879), and Suffolk County News from Sayville (1888-1923).

The articles can be viewed separately, or as they originally appeared in the paper. You may print, save and email a copy. Take the time to check out this wonderful resource of Long Island history.