Since 1982, the Town Clerk's Office has provided monies for the management of the historical records of the Town. This has included the preservation and restoration of historical volumes, documents and maps. To date, 60 volumes and 20 maps, including materials from the Town's founding in 1644, have been professionally restored. The sequence of restoration is based upon a consultant's survey for the storage and conservation of the Town's records, performed in 1984 by the Field Service Director of the Northeast Document Conservation Center. In 1988, another conservation survey was conducted by Dr. George M. Cunha, Conservation Consultant) to determine the progress made since 1984. Dr. Cunha determined that the preservation and restoration of the materials was proceeding according to schedule.
In 1991-92, the Town applied for and received a Records Survey Grant from New York State. This allowed for a complete town-wide record survey. Approximately 10,000 cubic feet (c.f.) of records were surveyed and approximately 1,800 c.f. of records destroyed according to the New York State MU-1 Schedule guidelines. In 1992-93, an Inactive Records Grant (New York State) was awarded, which allowed for the dedication and outfitting of a vault in Town Hall for the Town of Hempstead Inactive Records Center. The vault has a capacity of 1,200 c.f. on moveable steel shelving. The 1994-1995 Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant (New York State) award called for the arrangement and description of approximately 85 c.f. of the 200 c.f. of archival materials, a survey of all archival materials held by the Town Clerk's Office, and the production of a preliminary repository guide. One full-time archivist was hired and the Assistant to the Historian began taking formal courses in records management. The 1995-1996 Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund grant (New York State) award provided for the continuation of the arrangement and description of the remaining 115 c.f. of archival materials, and the production of a revised and expanded repository guide. The same archivist was re-hired for this grant and the Assistant to the Historian continued formal course work in records management.
This revised and expanded guide represents an overview of the identified historically significant, intrinsically valuable, non-current records created or received by the Town Clerk's Office, Town of Hempstead, from the late 1820s through the 1990s. The materials were primarily created by Town departments in the course of administering Town policies, laws, and decisions.
School districts, youth organizations, and researchers are welcome to participate in a tour of Hempstead Town's archives and learn about the historical records, maps and photographs in the town's collection. Our archives consist of primary source materials and many of the documents can only be found in this office. There are a multitude of records in our archives including Civil War enlistment records, slavery records, minute books, school records and Board of Health records. Tours will educate participants about the migration of our society from agrarian to suburban and will portray the evolution of our local government. Local history, when viewed through concrete examples, can better show students of any age group the changing nature of their own environment. Tours are free and must be arranged in advance by calling the Office of the Town Clerk at 516-812-3046.