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East Hampton Library's Long Island Collection "Item Of The Week:" A Weekly Connection To The Past

T.J. Clemente

East End Meets Far East at 1933 Guild Hall Flower Show was the Friday, May 1 "Item of the Week." (Photo Courtesy of East Hampton Library)

East Hampton Library Executive Director Dennis Fabiszak is always a fascinating person to speak with. With a wonderful reputation built over years of excellence service, vision, and results he and the Library are now facing an epic situation. However, one bright spot has to be the ongoing "Item of the Week" program, a weekly East Hampton Library email that highlights an item from the Long Island Collection.

Executive Director Fabiszak is extremely proud of the Library's unique, vast, and ever-growing knowledge of East Hampton's historical past, much of which is exemplified in the artifacts and rare documents within the Long Island Collection. It is perhaps the largest and most extensive on Long Island.

He said, "This has been a very popular program and has been well received. Andrea Meyer, Head of the Long Island Collection, is doing a wonderful job with the Collection. She is perfect for that position. She is really committed and best qualified to handle all the treasured documents."

The Long Island Collection is housed in the back of the Library. Many Library patrons and visitors used to walk in during business hours just to see the old maps and especially a piece of the gold threaded cloth Captain Kidd gave the Gardiner family supposedly for helping him hide some of his treasure on Gardiner's Island back in the last year of the1600's. It was quite an experience to walk in and be surrounded by some of the oldest town history in the country, stacked on shelves, tables, and yes in special vaults.

In the past many writers of local papers have called in to the East Hampton Library's Long Island Collection desk to receive help on articles or leads to getting a historical piece correct.

Now, via the East Hampton Library's weekly "Item of the Week" email, the public has an opportunity to share any knowledge they have by sending comments - or even make a suggestion for a future "Item of the Week." Fabiszak explained, "We want to keep collecting information to make the record of the past as accurate as we can. When useful information is ascertained, Andrea Meyer saves it, records it and files it properly so that in the future others can access it." The Collection is also available at easthamptonlibrary.org/long-island-history.

Unfortunately at the moment visiting the Library is not possible, as the Library is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There is a long list of "situations" the Library has to deal with to get the Library safe for reopening. While achieving that is quite a heavy load, Fabiszak is thankful that the Library has the chance to shine a light on this Long Island Collection "Item of the Week" program. "It's been going on for a while, but now seems to be more important than ever."

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