L.I. Indian Prehistory & History in the LHR


  • In the Local History Room, books are divided into 2 basic collections, Long Island Reference (LI REF) and New York State Reference (NY REF). Both collections use the Dewey Decimal System. Above the stacks are black and white numbers. Stacks 1-7 are LI REF. NY REF continues with 7-8.
  • LI REF 970 to 973.0497 and 974.721 R-LI4 REA 1-8 (Readings in L.I. Archaeology and Ethnohistory) are good starting points for research. But, village, town, county and state records and histories, as well as genealogical (mainly 920's) and biographical sources (B) and histories of L.I's outer islands. (974.725 I- ). These sources often contain material on Long Island Indians, of varying length, uneven scholarship, and frequently biased.
  • Genealogies in the Room are now listed online on our website at: https://digitalpml.pmlib.org/Genealogy_Catalog/genealogy_PML_LI_NY.pdf
  • Cemetery Registers and histories of religious institutions
  • Books on Whaling
  • NY REF features histories and themes in state history, as well as histories or records, at the state, NYS region, county, municipal levels (including histories of NYC and its boroughs). Selected military and genealogical materials are probably among the most useful to researchers.
  • Due to the Room's space limits, half the LI REF and three-fourths of NY REF is in storage. But all works are listed in the Library Catalog (search box is in the upper left).

Historical Periodicals & Newspapers

  • The cumulative Long Island Forum Index [1938-2003] is online and searchable, leading to hundreds of articles written for a popular audience. Bibliographies and notes tend to be brief at best, but became more frequent in the final few decades. But, there is a mine of information available here, though scholarship is a bit uneven. Searches respond best to the fewest words. We have bound copies of the entire run of the Long Island Forum, 1938-2004, available in the Room. Note: The 2004 series was never completed, and there was no index for that year. We were restricted to use of extant indexes, by the publisher.
  • The Room contains most issues of Long Island Historical Journal (which, after it ceased publication, was replaced online [only] by the Long Island History Journal). Both are publications of SUNY at Stony Brook's History Department and contributing authors.
  • We also have a broken run of the Nassau County Historical Society Journal [1977-2016].
  • The Patchogue and (after 1973) Patchogue-Medford High School Record, [1929-2016] are available in the Room, though Seton Hall High School yearbooks are in storage.
  • Two valuable sources, available online, are New York State Historic Newspapers: Suffolk County, New York (formerly known as Suffolk Historic Newspapers) and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online, 1841-1955 (now part of Brooklyn Newsstand). The Eagle's coverage included all of L.I. These are both accessible on our Historic LI Newspapers webpage.

Vertical Files

  • The Long Island and Patchogue Vertical File Subject Heading Index is found on the Local History homepage. There is also a general heading for "L.I. – Indians" in the LI Vertical File, which features 41 sub-headings, and many of these have their own subheadings. Additional related files can be found, using Control + F[ind], which calls up a search box. The files have been heavily subdivided to offer researchers greater precision, and more rapid access to relevant material.
  • A number of LI Vertical Files under "LI—Archaeology…" include material on Indian sites and material culture. See also "L.I. - Forts and Fortifications…" which include some Indian forts which probably served other ceremonial and practical purposes. Also see "L.I. - Whales and Whaling".

Digital PML (Archival Material)

Maps & Gazeteers

  • The map case features a map of Indian Long Island.
  • The Vingboons Map of Manhattan shows a bit of Brooklyn, with both wigwams and longhouses.
  • There is a set of maps of sections Southold Town depicting various types of Indian sites.
  • Some other maps show occasional references to various Indian lands.
  • William Wallace Tooker's Indian Place Names on Long Island, and Islands Adjacent: With Their Probable Significations. Sag Harbor, NY: Pub. For the John Jermain Memorial Library, 1911. - The operable word is probable. Possible may be more the case. But, it's what is generally used.

Other Online Sources