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Town historian sets goals for future such as expanding digital reach

06/07/2017 6:00 AM |

New Southold Town historian Amy Folk has been busy in her first three months on the job and on Tuesday, she laid out her progress and plans in her first report to the Town Board.

Two projects that Ms. Folk, who also works in various capacities at several different historical societies, would like to tackle are creating a detailed inventory of the town’s historic documents and reworking the town historian’s web page to make responding to the public more efficient.

“I was very surprised when I came on board to find out we didn’t have a very detailed list of our historic holdings,” she said at a Town Board work session. She conducted a rough inventory of the town’s items and suggested that a cross-referenced catalog would help when people have questions about specific documents.

As for the town website, Ms. Folk said she’d like to write and upload essays about national events and their impact on Southold as a resource for school teachers. The state education department has asked teachers to incorporate local history into their curricula, she said, and this would save teachers time and money. She said she’d also like to write up a short history of some of the town’s landmarks.

Since starting as town historian, Ms. Folk has received 28 research requests and been reaching out to the local historic community. If she can’t find the information someone needs in town, she said, she can search at one of her other offices, such as the Oysterponds Historical Society.

“I probably have close to three-quarters of a million items at my touch that I can reach out and find whatever the answer is that we need,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun for me.”

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