Tom Lawrence Has Been Named City Historian

POUGHKEEPSIE – City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison announced recently that Tom Lawrence, Director of Poughkeepsie Public Library District, has been appointed City of Poughkeepsie Historian.

Lawrence will serve as a resource for the general public and will aid in the preservation of documents, maps, photographs and other materials relating to the city’s history.

“Tom Lawrence’s devotion to the community and his exceptional work with the Library District will serve him well as City Historian,” said Mayor Rolison.

Lawrence, a native of Central New York, graduated from the College of St. Rose in Albany with a BA in Social Sciences, from the University of Oklahoma with a Masters in Library Science, and from Long Island University with a Certificate of Advanced Study on public library management. He has held librarian positions in New York and Connecticut and has been at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District for the last 24 years.

“As City Historian, I want to work with members of the community to not only preserve the record of our past but to increase the awareness and understanding of the Queen City’s rich history as we explore the potential for its future,” he said.

Over the centuries, Poughkeepsie has transformed from a hamlet to a village to city.

Poughkeepsie served as state capital following the burning of Kingston by the British in 1777. In 1788, members of the state convention in Poughkeepsie ratified the U.S. Constitution, with New York forging a new union with the original 13 colonies to become the United States of America. Among other significant landmarks, the city is the site of a Franklin D. Roosevelt-inspired Post Office; the Poughkeepsie Journal, the state’s oldest newspaper and the second oldest in the nation; and the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, the oldest continuously operating entertainment venue in the state,

“The city’s history is all around us, and it’s not just in the history books,” Mayor Rolison said. “But the documentation of the city’s history – and the preservation of that history – is critically important. Tom Lawrence has been one of the trusted caretakers of these records and artifacts. We are grateful he has accepted this appointment.”

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