The Montauk Library has been awarded a $4,000 Technology and Innovation Grant from the Long Island Library Resources Council (LILRC) to digitize their Montauk Oral History Recordings project. The Montauk Library was one of six Long Island libraries to win the 2019 Technology and Innovation grants by the LILRC. The LILRC awards grants to Long Island libraries with the primary goal of promoting library resource sharing throughout the Long Island region.
The library’s original oral history collection produced on cassette and videotapes has been duplicated onto CDs and DVDs, which have begun to degrade. With the LILRC grant, the library will begin the process of converting the recordings into Mp3 and Mp4 files, which will enable the original recordings to fit the blueprint of future technologies. Mostly recorded by the Montauk Library from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, the collection also includes Montauk Historical Society oral histories recorded in the 1970s, including taped sessions of the early meetings of the Montauk Historical Society from the 1960s.
“For the most part, this collection of recordings right now is an untapped resource,” Maura Feeney, the Montauk Library’s Local History Librarian, said. “Once the interviews are made public, they will be accessible to writers, researchers, Montauk family members, genealogists, educators, and generalists. While patrons will always be welcome to read and listen to materials in the library, digitizing the recordings will enable sharing through social media and various websites like New York Heritage, as well as our own.”