Special Collections is the recipient of a $20,000 Priority Projects Grant to support acquisitions and for the curatorial care of collections at Stony Brook University Libraries. The funding was granted by the Honorable Steven Englebright, 4th Assembly District, Suffolk County.
With past funding, the department acquired and conserved several rare Long Island documents and maps, including a letter authored by the first Governor of New York, George Clinton to Thomas Jefferson, in which Clinton transfers land in Montauk to the United States. The Second United States Congress under president George Washington subsequently appropriated $20,000 on March 2, 1793 to build a lighthouse in Montauk. Construction of the lighthouse began on June 7, 1796 and was completed on November 5, 1796. With New York State through Governor Clinton “ceding the Jurisdiction of certain Lands on Montauck Point” to the infant United States, the establishment of one of the nation’s earliest historic national monuments was made possible.
A recent acquisition is a Revolutionary War-era letter (1777) authored by Samuel Blachley Webb (1753-1807), an aide and secretary to George Washington. Days after writing the letter, Webb was captured by the British in Setauket and held for over three years. -Kristen J. Nyitray, Head, Special Collections and University Archives, University Archivist