Local History Collection
Long Island Aerials Through Time
Long Island Aerials Through Time offers a treasure trove of never-before-seen highly detailed aerial photographs of Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties dating between the mid-1920s and 1940, taken by military aviators stationed at Mitchel Field in East Garden City. These stunning images depict a Long Island that is in most places vastly different from what we see today, predating modern suburbia and the construction of today's infrastructure. From Coney Island to Montauk, the book offers glimpses of a bygone era of farms and Gold Coast estates, and captures amazing scenes such as the 1939-40 World's Fair, a newly built Jones Beach, the rollercoasters of the Rockaways, and the 1936 Vanderbilt Cup Auto Race.
From Breslau to Lindenhurst: 1870 to 1923
Discover the transformation of the small community of Breslau, built by German immigrants, to the vibrant village of Lindenhurst, New York.
The 1867 advent of the South Side Railroad provided the transportation infrastructure for a new Long Island community conceived by Irish immigrant Thomas Welwood and Prussian immigrant Charles Schleier. Specifically marketed to German immigrants, the city of Breslau was dedicated in 1870. Welwood and Schleier encouraged business and manufacturing growth, providing local employment and economic stability. The gentlemen planned a model community, but their business dealings were not as harmonious and ended in years of litigation. Although thriving, in 1891, the community sought to discard the name Breslau, and residents chose the name Lindenhurst, honoring the proliferation of local linden trees. In the early 20th century, local business prospered, the population blossomed, and the community built by German immigrants strove to demonstrate their American patriotism when the United States joined the war against Germany.
Home Town Long Island
Here's the history of every community in Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens -- from Astoria to Yaphank and every town in between -- nearly 300 stories and over 350 photos. Relive the days when:
-- Al Capone and Annie Oakley vacationed in Amityville
-- Benedict Arnold led British troops through Fresh Meadows
-- Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig played baseball in LindenhurstThat's not all Share the recollections of celebrities like Mariah Carey and Jerry Seinfeld who grew up in our hometowns and learn why:
-- Long Beach still feels like home to Billy Crystal
-- A six-year-old Rosie O'Donnell set her sights on stardom in Westbury
-- Ray Romano's heart still belongs to QueensHome Town Long Island is sure to touch the hearts of all who call Long Island home. And it has tremendous local Long Island appeal for retailers -- and makes a great fundraising book, or an exceptional corporate or premium gift.
Babylon by the Sea
Babylon by the Sea focuses on a seaside community that, once rich in salt marshes, attracted many of the area's first settlers. Originally called Sumpawam, it was purchased from Native Americans in 1670. The township was formed from South Huntington and named Babylon in 1802 by Mrs. Conklin, a staunch advocate of the Bible. Babylon includes the villages of Lindenhurst and Amityville, and the hamlets of North and West Babylon, Copaigue, Deer Park, Farmingdale, and Wyandanch. This vibrant community evolved from a humble beginning of farming, fishing, and whaling into an attractive resort community.
The area was unknown until the nearby barrier beach, Fire Island, gained prominence as a summer resort. The South Shore line of the Long Island Railroad gave the seaside locality impetus when the train reached Babylon in 1867. Hotels and boardinghouses sprang up around town and beside the sea. Among the pleasure seekers were many wealthy New Yorkers who came in quest of the invigorating air and relaxation outside the city. The trip from New York took just over an hour; a trolley would meet the visitors and transport them to the Great South Bay. For many years, the South Shore Railroad was the only electrified train, and Babylon became the point of convergence for travelers bent on speed. The village also witnessed the birth of radio and wireless communication when Marconi contacted ships at sea from Babylon.
Evoking a Sense of Place
Picture History of Aviation on Long Island, 1908-1938
Over 300 rare photographs, with detailed informative captions, recall Long Island's crucial role as center of early aviation. Exploits of Lindbergh, Curtiss, Doolittle, other pioneers. First "blind" flights, seaplanes, endurance records, technological breakthroughs, much more. Introduction. Map.
Murder on Long Island
In the mid-nineteenth century, James Wickham was a wealthy farmer with a large estate in Cutchogue, Long Island. His extensive property included a mansion and eighty acres of farmland that were maintained by a staff of servants. In 1854, Wickham got into an argument with one of his workers, Nicholas Behan, after Behan harassed another employee who refused to marry him. Several days after Behan's dismissal, he crept back into the house in the dead of night. With an axe, he butchered Wickham and his wife, Frances, and fled to a nearby swamp. Behan was captured, tried, convicted and, on December 15, became one of the last people to be hanged in Suffolk County. Local historians Geoffrey Fleming and Amy Folk uncover this gruesome story of revenge and murder.
Long Road to Freedom
People of African descent have played an integral role in Long Island's history, just as they make essential contributions to this region's present and future. Dutch merchants brought the first enslaved Africans to what is now Manhattan in 1626; recognizing the value of this forced labor, they imported additional enslaved men and women from Africa and the Caribbean to help build the growing colony. Concurrently, English settlers started new communities on eastern Long Island, including Gardiner's Island (1639), Southold and Southampton (1640), and East Hampton (1648); they began bringing enslaved Africans to these communities in the 1650s. A century later, in 1749, enslaved Africans comprised 34% of the population of Kings County, 17% of Queens County, and 14% of Suffolk County. Overall, New York had more enslaved people than any colony north of Maryland during the colonial period. For over two centuries, enslaved people of color performed vital domestic, industrial, and agricultural labor throughout the region. At the same time, they struggled to survive in often challenging circumstances, to maintain their own cultural identity, and to resist the institution that bound them. Thanks to the allied efforts of Black and white antislavery advocates, New York State finally abolished slavery in 1827. Yet some legacies of slavery - especially patterns of systemic racism and persistent economic inequality - stubbornly endure on Long Island to this day. Many people have little knowledge or awareness of this critical story. To correct this historical amnesia, we must both reflect on why the damaging effects of slavery have been so long obscured and honor the many contributions of Black Long Islanders to our shared heritage - through continued research, preservation, and celebration.
Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement
Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement documents the historical movement of the right to vote for women in New York.
For seventy-two years, American women fought for the right to vote, and many remarkable ladies on Long Island worked tirelessly during this important civil rights movement. The colorful--and exceedingly wealthy--Alva Vanderbilt Belmont was undoubtedly the island's most outspoken and controversial advocate for woman suffrage. Ida Bunce Sammis, vigorous in her efforts, became one of the first women elected to the New York legislature. Well-known Harriot Stanton Blatch, daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, worked with countless other famous and ordinary Long Islanders to make her mother's quest a reality. Author Antonia Petrash tells the story of these and other women's struggle to secure the right to vote for themselves, their daughters and future generations of Long Island women.
Haunted Long Island Mysteries
Long Island's history extends beyond the physical reality surrounding us and into the great unknown of the spiritual realm. Deceased patrons and other visitors from the past linger at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho, one of the oldest continually operating restaurants in America. Victims of the Louis V. Place shipwreck aren't resting so peacefully at the Lakeview Cemetery in Patchogue. Spirits move furniture, knock on doors and pace throughout the exhibits at the Long Island Maritime Museum. Award-winning author and historian Kerriann Flanagan Brosky, alongside medium and paranormal investigator Joe Giaquinto, use extensive interviews, research and investigations to unveil a new collection of Long Island's ghostly past.
Local History Albums
Local History Learning Resources
Brooklyn Newsstand is a collection of digitized Brooklyn newspapers made possible through a partnership between Brooklyn Public Library and Newspapers.com.
Hudson River Valley Historical Newspapers
Access digitized copies of historical newspapers from the Hudson River Valley region of New York State.
Long Island Index
A local resource which provides statistical information and various studies about Long Island.
New York Amsterdam News
New York Heritage Digital Collections
Research the people, places, and institutions of New York State with access to more than 170 distinct digital collections.