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Grant number like: PY-234464-16

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Oyster Bay Historical Society (Oyster Bay, NY 11771-2317)
Philip Blocklyn (Project Director: June 2015 to April 2017)
Preserving Community Collections: The Oyster Bay Historical Society’s Documentation of a Congregation’s Cultural Heritage

A day-long event at the Oyster Bay Historical Society in Oyster Bay, New York, to digitize the cultural heritage collections of the Hood African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and to hold a series of three public programs: a walking tour of the 1850s church, its Pine Hollow Cemetery, and the surrounding historic district; a community roundtable on the uses of primary sources in researching family history; and a workshop on best practices in preservation. The church’s collections encompass materials such as correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, journals, diaries, genealogies, and military records that chronicle its members, who descend from free local African-Americans and from families from Virginia who relocated to Oyster Bay in the mid-20th century. The digitized materials would be made accessible on the website of the historical society and on the Long Island Memories website sponsored by the Long Island Library Resources Council. The public events aim to highlight the role of church members in the development of Oyster Bay in the 19th and 20th century and their participation in a broader national historical narrative through military service in the American Civil War. The project would create new and extend existing connections within the Oyster Bay community.

The project invites congregants of the Hood A.M.E. Zion Church in Oyster Bay, NY, to a day-long event, organized by the Oyster Bay Historical Society, to digitize that community’s cultural heritage materials. The event’s primary goals are to preserve the community’s personal collections and make them a resource to be shared by their own members and by Historical Society members, visitors, and researchers. Access to the digital collection will be available through the Historical Society’s web site and through the Long Island Library Resources Council’s Long Island Memories web site. A series of public programs in the weeks following the event will provide a workshop on best practices for preserving personal collections; a walking tour of the Zion Church, its Pine Hollow Cemetery, and a six-block historic district of the hamlet as part of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Weekend; and a community roundtable on the uses of primary sources in researching family history.

Project fields:
African American History

Common Heritage

Preservation and Access

$12,000 (approved)
$10,249 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 10/31/2016