Spotlight Collection

The Long Island Collection

This month, New York Heritage Digital Collections welcomes contributor materials from the Long Island Memories project.  Our first collection from this region is the extensive Long Island Collection, developed and maintained by the East Hampton Library.

In 1930, Morton Pennypacker, Long Island enthusiast, collector, and later historian for both the Town of East Hampton and Suffolk County, presented his personal collection of Long Island books and other materials to the East Hampton Library. It was his belief that people should be able to go to one place to research any topic about Long Island and endeavored to collect everything ever written about the region.

Since then, the Long Island Collection has grown to house over 100,000 items, containing old and rare books, maps, photographs, postcards, atlases, letters, deeds, whaling logs, wills, clippings, genealogies, periodicals, and artifacts relating to the history and people of Long Island. The Long Island Collection is also home to the Thomas Moran Biographical Art Collection, The History Project, Inc., Men’s Lives/Long Island Fisherman Archive, and account books pertaining to the Culper Ring.

In 2007, the Long Island Collection began the process of digitizing its materials, which has aided in the archive’s conservation and description, as well as increased access to patrons locally and across the state of New York.  A faceted presentation of these materials is available on the East Hampton Public Library's Digital Long Island page.

About the Institute

The ofifcial mission statement of the East Hampton Library "is to meet the information, knowledge and reading needs of its users and to maintain the Long Island Collection for historical research.".

The East Hampton Library is a member of the Long Island Library Resources Council, a member of the NY 3Rs Association, Inc..