Queens Borough President Helen Marshall swore in 14 local historians who will record the individuals, places and issues that relate directly to neighborhoods in each of Queens’ community boards.
The first-ever local historians were sworn in by Marshall at Queens Borough Hall last Monday.
The historians will research not only the history of the neighborhoods in their respective community boards, but also reach out to new immigrant populations in their quest for accuracy, artifacts and authenticity.
The group, which includes authors and members of historical organizations, will also share knowledge of special places in each of their communities and come together periodically to share their experiences and expand their knowledge of the borough.
Marshall also urged them to reach out to immigrant populations in order to learn what living in the world’s most diverse population means to them. “In this way, the Local Historians Project can truly bring us all closer together,” Marshall said.
The Borough President also thanked Stanley Cogan, who has served as the Queens Borough Historian, for his great service to Queens and for suggesting the idea of creating local historians.
Monday’s swearing-in also coincided with the launch of an informal collaboration between the historians and Citylore: the Center for Urban Folk Culture. The organization maintains the web site “Place Matters,” where New Yorkers can add the name of a place that has special meaning in their community.
The local historians were chosen from nominations made by community boardchairs and district managers. The new historians are:
Community Board 1: Michael Halberian, of the Steinway Mansion organization;
Community Board 2: Luke Adams, of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce;
Community Board 3: Andrew Jackson, of the Langston Hughes Community Library & Culture Center;
Community Board 4: Thomas McKenzie, of the Newtown Historical Society;
Community Board 5: Linda Monte, of the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society;
Community Board 6: Jeffrey Gottlieb, of the Central Queens Historical Society;
Community Board 7: James Driscoll, of the Queens Historical Society;
Community Board 8: Janet Kramer, a member of CB 8;
Community Board 9: Nancy Cataldi, of the Richmond Hill Historical Society;
Community Board 10: Joy Patron, a member of CB 10;
Community Board 11: Joan Brown Wettingfeld, of the Bayside Queens History Page;
Community Board 12: Roy Fox, of King Manor Museum;
Community Board 13: James Trent, of the Four Borough Preservation Council, and
Community Board 14: Howard Schwach, of The Wave newspaper.