HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF ROCKLAND COUNTY TO DIGITIZE OVER 50 YEARS OF HISTORY JOURNALS

Contributed by Historical Society of Rockland

History Month (1)October is Rockland History month. As part of this year’s celebration, the Historical Society of Rockland County (HSRC) will launch the first phase of a multi-year project to digitize its quarterly journal, “South of the Mountains,” and make archived issues available online.

The HSRC began publishing “South of the Mountains”-—the only continuously published journal of Rockland County history—-in 1957. For the past 57 years, volunteers have carefully archived the issues, which are still in use today for research. However, accessing the content for research is not always easy: Researchers have had to know what they were looking for, and for this reason, many important articles have been overlooked.

The digitization of “South of the Mountains” continues a longer-term project initiated by the to make its collections more widely available. In 2007, more than 700 historical images, including photographs, postcards and news clippings, were scanned; this content is fully searchable and accessible through the Hudson River Valley Heritage website (www.hrvh.org).

“The decision to continue our digitization project with ‘South of the Mountains’ is tied directly to our mission,” said Susan Deeks, executive director of the HSRC. “The project will provide open and free access to this rich source of Rockland history to all Rockland County residents, as well as to scholars worldwide.”

Professional scanning of “South of the Mountains” will begin in November and continue over the next two years. As with earlier digitization projects of the HSRC, the history journal articles will be shared with the public through the Hudson River Valley Heritage website (www.hrvh.org).

Authors represented in this digital sharing project include John Scott, Richard Koke, Thomas F. X. Casey, Firth Haring Fabend, and other noted historians. Many of the articles feature interesting and rarely seen images, photographs, and maps. Stories in “South of the Mountains” cover all aspects of Rockland history, including railroads, aviation, business and industry, as well as important events that have taken place at the HSRC. All of the articles will be fully searchable by subject, author, and title.

Also part of the HSRC’s celebration of “October Is Rockland History Month” are:

• Annual Fall Festival, celebrating Rockland’s agricultural heritage. Co-sponsored by the HSRC and Heritage of West Nyack, this year’s festival, showcasing the historic Traphagen and Vanderbilt/Budke houses, will be held at Germonds Park in West Nyack on October 19, 1-5 pm (rain or shine). Admission is free. For an up-to-date schedule of events, see the website at www.HeritageOfWestNyack.org.

• “Crossroads of Rockland History: Haunted History,” airing on October 20, at 10:10 a.m., on WRCR. “Crossroads of Rockland History,” a program of the Historical Society of Rockland County, airs on the third Monday of each month at 10:10 a.m. on

WRCR 1300 AM, with live streaming at www.WRCR.com).

• Jacob Blauvelt House Tours. Tours of the circa 1832 farmhouse will start at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 26. The tours are led by our knowledgeable volunteer docents dressed to reflect the farmhouse’s 1830s date of original construction. Group tours are also available by appointment. Admission is free.