Long Island University’s prestigious Palmer School of Library and Information Sciences has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to preserve documents that are a vital part of Long Island’s history. The Palmer School is a recognized leader in library science and one of just 62 schools accredited by the American Library Association. It also offers the only Ph.D. program in Information Studies in the New York metropolitan area and is the only library sciences school in that area to be admitted into membership in the prestigious iSchools Consortium.
“Long Island University is proud to partner our nationally recognized Palmer School with the resources of the Robert David Lion Gardner Foundation to help preserve Long Island’s history,” said LIU President Dr. Kimberly R. Cline.
With the grant, LIU will digitize and preserve a collection of historical documents currently held by historical societies across Long Island, with a particular emphasis on Suffolk County. LIU will showcase these documents at an annual Gardiner Symposium, while promoting year-round visibility of these historical societies.
The project will be led by Dr. Gregory Hunter, professor of library and information science, who heads the doctoral program at the Palmer School. He is a nationally recognized expert who was a key member of the team that designed and implemented the electronic records archives for the National Archives and Records Administration. Hunter is the editor of The American Archivist, the peer-reviewed journal of the Society of American Archivists.
“The Palmer School has been educating archivists and supporting the local historical community for three decades,” said Hunter. “The generous grant from the Gardiner Foundation will help preserve Long Island’s history and also ensure that the next generation of archival professionals has the skills to preserve history in the digital age.”
The grant includes significant scholarship support for Master’s and Ph.D. students at the Palmer School, in addition to opportunities for long-term fieldwork placement that benefit both the historical societies and Palmer School students.
“The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation’s mission is to promote our regional history. The artifacts and archives of historical societies are untapped treasure troves for researchers and scholars. It is our hope that this award will make these collections available as a vital part of local historic study. The Palmer School program and students offer the expertise and resources to accomplish this goal,” said Kathryn M. Curran, executive director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.