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Letter: A Local History Room For The Library

(Editor’s Note: This letter to the Great Neck Library Board of Trustees is being published at the request of the writer.)

We were unhappy to see that the location of the Local History Room was not included in the renovation report in the local newspapers.

One of the things that a library should offer its community is a secure location in which historical records may be stored and accessed. Only a library is well equipped to offer this service.  

Great Neck has a very rich history. Both the library staff and the Historical Society receive frequent requests for historical information.  In just the past few weeks, the Historical Society has received queries about the History of Allenwood Park, the location of Charlie Chaplin’s home, the hospital in which former resident Frederic Dannay (one half of Ellery Queen) was taken to after his November 1940 accident, and the history of St. Aloysius Church, among others. As you know, several of us also used the history room extensively to research the upcoming Arcadia volume on Great Neck.

To answer these questions, we’ve been pleased to have been able to use the vast and varied holdings located in the Local History collection which the Library has maintained and expanded for many years.

A collection of this nature requires adequate space and knowledgeable staff. We hope that you will take this into consideration in the final renovation plans.

Alice Kasten, for the Great Neck Historical Society