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The Long Island Room is pleased to announce its 2022 Program Series, Preserving Long Island's Past.  Click on the program titles below to register.
Long Island Dirt-Recovering Our Buried Past
Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 7:00- 8:30 pm
Long Island is rich in diverse histories, and archaeology is one way those histories can be explored. Throughout Long Island, the findings discovered at archaeological sites help to inform what life was like for past generations and how their lives and communities related to those of their contemporaries. Archaeology thus provides local historians, preservationists, community groups, and others an opportunity to better understand and document Long Island’s complex development through time. Learn more about the archaeological process, why and when it is conducted, and how connecting data from archaeological sites can yield a more regional approach to understanding Long Island histories, as archaeologist Dr. Allison McGovern discusses her work in the field.
Preserving Your Past
Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
Nearly everyone has boxes of precious family heirlooms stashed in their basements, garages, closets, and attics, full of old photographs, brittle scrapbooks, faded garments, and other similar mementos. These materials often represent and remind us of the important people, places and events that have shaped our lives or the lives of our families. Given their personal value and meaning, it is vital to protect these treasures so they can be preserved and passed on. Find out how to do just that as Local History Librarian and Certified Archivist, Melanie Cardone-Leathers highlights the most common types of materials found in family history collections and demonstrates how best to care for them. This program will also be live streamed on Facebook ( the night of the program.
Historic Preservation for Long Island Communities-Greater Smithtown
Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
What is historic preservation? Why is it important? Who is responsible for it? What designates a property as historic? Is a property protected from demolition or redevelopment if it is deemed historic? Can a historic property be altered, renovated, or repurposed? The preservation of local historic sites and properties can often be a complicated process, raising questions like these and many others. Join Sarah Kautz, Preservation Director at Preservation Long Island, Long Island’s regional historic preservation organization, as she demystifies the process and explains how historic places are designated and protected, cites specific local examples, and shares ways to get involved in supporting preservation efforts in the community. This program will also be live streamed on Facebook ( the night of the program.
Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
Recording people’s memories and recollections of their lived experiences is an important way to preserve a unique and irreplaceable primary source for future generations. These recordings illustrate that people are not just passing through history, but are, in many ways, an integral part of it. In recent years, as technologies have improved, oral history projects and history-themed podcasts have become increasingly popular ways to capture and share these recordings. Stony Brook University librarian and producer/ co-host of the “Long Island History Project” podcast, Chris Kretz, will draw from his experiences participating in these types of projects to describe how best to start your own—reviewing the basics of an oral history interview, ways to record, and what to do with your recordings. This program will also be live streamed on Facebook ( the night of the program.
Tuesday, October 18, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
Built in 1872, the Oak Beach Life Saving Station, located in the Town of Babylon, was originally part of a network of more than 20 such stations that dotted Long Island’s south shore. Established by the U.S. government to provide aid to shipwrecked vessels, these stations were the predecessor to the country’s modern-day Coast Guard. When the Oak Beach station was severely damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and then again by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012, it was initially slated to be demolished. However, after learning more about the structure’s historic significance and securing grant funding, an alternate plan was devised. Discover how the Town of Babylon was able to rescue and repurpose the Oak Beach Life-Saving Station, as Town Historian, Mary Cascone, details this historic preservation project and its selection as a 2020 Project Excellence Award winner by Preservation Long Island.  This program will also be live streamed on Facebook ( the night of the program.
Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
The Smithtown Library’s Richard H. Handley Collection of Long Island Americana, or Long Island Room, is a treasure trove of unique local history materials, some of which dates back to the 1600s. Comprised of books, maps, atlases, documents, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, newspapers, posters, ephemera and other similar materials, the Long Island Room is recognized as one of the most important local history collections on Long Island and its staff regularly welcomes researchers of all kinds. Join librarian Caren Zatyk, Head of the Long Island Room, as she leads this “behind-the-scenes” tour of the collection’s facilities, explains how researchers can access it, and highlights some of its most fascinating items. Registration for this program will begin on October 1, 2022. Space is limited.


Preserving Long Island's Past

Throughout Long Island, there are many institutions and individuals dedicated to discovering and preserving the region’s rich local history resources so that future generations may benefit from the lessons they can impart. Here, at The Smithtown Library, the Long Island Room’s staff works to preserve and make accessible a variety of materials that reflect the history of Smithtown and beyond. This exhibit highlights some of those materials and will be on view through the end of 2022.


Long Island Room
Smithtown Building (Lower Level)
1 North Country Road
Smithtown, NY 11787
(631)360-2480 x197


Use of the Long Island Room collection is subject to the availability of its dedicated staff.  It is therefore strongly recommended that you set up an appointment prior to your visit.  Please contact the Long Island Room via phone or email to set up an appointment.


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