Long Island University announced the Palmer School of Library & Information Science was awarded a $1 million grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to support the University’s Digitizing Local History Sources program.
The funding provides students and faculty additional opportunities to preserve sensitive historical documents relevant to Long Island’s history.
“Long Island University is grateful for the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s continuous partnership and ongoing commitment to preserve Long Island’s illustrious history,” said Long Island University President Kimberly R. Cline. “This funding opportunity allows our students to further develop their archiving skills while enhancing their academic experience.”
Students enrolled in the Palmer School at LIU preserve local Long Island history through advanced digital technology to capture images of important historical documents. LIU students have archived documents from 46 historical organizations, including 75,000 images, amounting to a total of 4,600 gigabytes of data.
Since 2017, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation has contributed more than $2.2 million to Long Island University’s historical preservation projects. The funds presented by the Gardiner Foundation have enabled Palmer School students to digitize materials provided by various organizations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Students most recently preserved information from notable historical items, including Walt Whitman’s family bible.
“Years ago, the Foundation asked me what I saw as the greatest need for our historical societies. I had recently been to a historic site that was underutilized, and underappreciated. For years this organization had been maintaining an incredible resource of archival material that was virtually unknown. The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s mission is to advance regional history. I reached out to LIU and this project was initiated. Through the RDLGF Board’s support and approval, the wealth of historic documents chronically our past are now being shared, and the work of our historic stewards recognized,” said Kathryn M. Curran, executive director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.
Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation primarily supports the study of New York State history. The organization’s purpose is to cultivate, foster and promote interest in the culture, art and traditions of our local history. Foundation leaders aspire to encourage the collection and examination of documents and artifacts.
“Our students are highly skilled and motivated in the digital archiving process”, said Gregory Hunter, LIU professor and project director, Digitizing Local History Sources. “The added bonus is that Long Island residents benefit from this program, as important documents pertaining to local history are digitally preserved for all posterity.”
The Palmer School of Library and Information Science is the leading library science program in the New York City metropolitan area. It has the only New York State Registered Certificate of Advanced Study in Archives and Records Management, over 25 dual master’s degree programs with New York University, and the only Ph.D. in information studies in the region.