Brooklyn Historical Society (originally known as the Long Island Historical Society) has been collecting artifacts representative of the history of Long Island since 1863. The artifacts featured on the Revealing Long Island History project website highlight the strengths and variety of the BHS collections, dating from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth centuries. Each artifact is a work of art, historical evidence, and part of the collective memory that documents the diverse histories of Long Island.

The Revealing Long Island History website dives deep into Long Island’s history through a select group of objects. To explore even more, visit BHS’s Digital Collections.

About the Project

Launched in 2017, Brooklyn Historical Society’s Revealing Long Island History project is one of the most comprehensive collections management and research project ever undertaken at BHS. BHS is home to one of the world’s greatest collections related to the history of Brooklyn and Long Island. Many of these artifacts have now been catalogued, digitized, researched, or preserved for the first time thanks to generous support from the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation.

This three-year initiative involved the work of many BHS departments, particularly in collections care, digitization, and conservation.

Collections Assistant Aja Lans hard at work cataloging artifacts

Photo by Lauran Juliano

Nearly 6,000 artifacts were retrieved from storage, unpacked and examined, and documented for the first time in over twenty years.

Collections Assistant Laura Juliano prepping an artifact for photographing

Photo by Anna Schwartz

New photography and professional digitization have made the BHS collections—objects, photographs, and maps—widely accessible to researchers and the public.

Textile conservator Sarah Stevens treating one of BHS’s Civil War banners (M1985.408)

Conservation treatment has preserved many of BHS’s most fragile and historically significant artifacts for future generations.


Project Historian and Curator

Nalleli Guillen, PhD

Design & Development


BHS Project Staff (2017-2020)

Deborah Schwartz, President
Marcia Ely, Executive Vice President
Heather Malin, Vice President for Advancement
Julie Golia, Vice President of Curatorial Affairs & Collections
Daniel Brenner, Digital Projects Archivist
Cecily Dyer, Special Collections Library and Manager of Reference and Outreach
Tess Colwell, Digital Projects Archivist
Anna Flinchbaugh, Collections Assistant
Laura Juliano, Collections Assistant
Camille Lannan, Reference Assistant
Aja Lans, Collections Assistant
Katy Lasdow, Historian
Amy Lau, Archivist
Mary Mann, Reference Assistant
Julie May, Director of Library & Archives
Lisa Miller, Reference Assistant
Maggie Schreiner, Manager of Archives and Special Collections
Hayley Schulkind, Senior Manager of Institutional Giving
Anna Schwartz, Collections Manager, Art & Artifacts and Exhibitions Manager
Janna Singer-Baefsky, Collections Assistant

Project Interns

Faith Layer
Richard Paz


Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA)
Fine Wood Conservation LLC
Mitra Library Conservation LLC
Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Pierre Atelier, Upholstery Conservator
Steven Kornhauser, Painting Conservator
Zephyr Preservation Studio, LLC
Digitization and Photography Specialists
Innovative Document Imaging (IDI)
Gavin Ashworth
Fred Neudoerffer

Special thanks to project consultants Dr. Linda Ferber, Dr. Eric Platt, Mr. Kevin Stayton and colleagues from other cultural institutions who lent their experience to the Revealing Long Island History project, including: Brooklyn Public Library, New-York Historical Society, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library, Museum of the City of New York, Green-Wood Cemetery, American Jewish Historical Society, Museum of Chinese in America, South Street Seaport Museum, Wyckoff House, East Hampton Library, Preservation Long Island, Oysterponds Historical Society, Home Sweet Home Museum, American Swedish Historical Museum, Norwegian-American Vesterheim Museum, Shelburne Museum, Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Colonial Williamsburg, the Witte Museum, and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library.