The historian is an official of the local government appointed by the Supervisor. Duties of the historian consist of collecting, preserving and making available materials relating to the history of the community. The historian also is responsible for preserving current records for the future.
The historian takes the lead in identifying homes, buildings, structures and other sites in the community that should be preserved because of architectural, historical or archeological significance and their connections with historic persons and events. When placed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places, plaques may be erected and the sites marked. The importance of such places should be safeguarded from highway construction, zoning changes or renewal projects.
Information regarding the history of the Town may be obtained in many ways. Gravestone inscriptions from early family cemeteries, show family relationships and supply information about life span and birth and death rates. Verbal and oral history are important as source materials. Photos also supply important views of the past. Maps show the location of the Community and help illustrate changes and development of the area as well as artifacts which show how people lived, worked, traveled and worshipped.
Primary sources of books, manuscripts, statements and records of individuals, local government, organizations, business concerns and institutions in the community including schools and churches all contain valuable material. Newspapers contain information of all aspects of community life. Sources of information are identified as to origin and place or persons from whom it was obtained if possible. Publication of books, booklets and preparation of exhibits are valuable for presenting the above materials to the public.
The historian works in conjunction with the local Historical Society, the Pruyn House Cultural Center, the Library and other Town departments and organizations dealing with Town history, including the schools. The historian makes an annual report to the appointing officers about the work accomplished during the preceding year. Annual Reports also go to the State Historian's office and to the County Historian, with whom they cooperate.
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