Hofstra University Special Collections

The Hofstra University Special Collections Department is made up of three areas: the University Archives, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, and the Long Island Studies Institute. In an effort to increase access to materials from these areas (while being ever mindful of their preservation needs), the Special Collections Department is currently working on digitizing a number of unique and interesting collections. We hope that you enjoy these collections and that they inspire you to come and visit us and allow us to assist you with your research needs.

Please call (516) 463-6411, or e-mail us at LISI@hofstra.edu. If you would like to come and visit us, we are located in Rm. 032 in the lower level of Axinn Library.

Browse Collections:

  • Places of Worship Collection:
    In the year 2000, Hofstra University alumnus Robert L. Harrison began his quest to photograph all the places of worship in Nassau County. Eighteen months and over 3000 miles later, he had completed a stunning visual record of the religious diversity in this rapidly changing area of Long Island. This collection contains all of the images captured by Harrison during his photographic odyssey. (Note: Harrison added a small number of photographs to the collection in 2002. Also,the collection does include some photographs of places of worship located in Suffolk County.)
  • September 11 Memorials:
    Shortly after the tragedies of September 11, 2001, the Special Collections Department at Hofstra University established its September 11 Project Collection and began collecting a wide variety of material related to the devastating events of that day. Later, after receiving a Documentary Heritage Program grant from the New York State Archives, we began work on locating and photographing all of the permanent September 11 memorials and monuments on Long Island. Robert L. Harrison of East Meadow was chosen as our photographer and we now have over 800 photographs in the collection. If you have information about September 11th memorials or remembrances you would like to add to the collection, please contact us at: LISI@Hofstra.edu


Hofstra Estate Collection:
Hofstra University, founded in 1935, was named after William Sake Hofstra and Kate Mason Hofstra. Research has traced the Hofstra’s history back to 1830 in the Province of Friesland in The Netherlands.  This collection contains various photographs ranging from 1904-32 from the Hofstra estate in Hempstead, New York.


Search this Collection in Long Island Memories.


Search this Collection in Long Island Memories.


Hofstra Buildings CollectionHofstra University, founded in 1935, was named after William Sake Hofstra and Kate Mason Hofstra. This collection contains various photographs ranging from 1935 to the mid-1990s from the University Archives Buildings Collection.Search this Collection in Long Island Memories.


Calderone Theatre CollectionSalvatore Calderone (1878-1929) and his son, Dr. Frank Calderone (1901-1987), were visionary theatre operators in Nassau County, N.Y. (Dr. Calderone was also a noted physician and health officer.) Their Calderone theatre circuit brought quality entertainment—in the form of live stage shows and films—to the area for decades. This collection features photographs ranging from 1948-1971 from Hofstra University’s Calderone Theatre Collection. Included are theatre interior, exterior, construction, and grand opening photographsSearch this Collection in Long Island Memories.


Camp Mills PhotographsCamp Mills was a World War I military installation located in Mineola, New York. Named after Major General Albert L. Mills, it is recognized as the birthplace of the elite 42nd Infantry of the National Guard, better known as the “Rainbow Division.” Initially established as a temporary camp in September 1917, it soon became the largest training center for American expedition forces and an active port of embarkation for troops in transit to France. Camp Mills was utilized as such until Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, when it was converted to a port of debarkation where garrison troops were stationed upon returning from Europe. Post-war operations continued until March 31, 1920, and in 1938 it was incorporated into Mitchel Air Force Base, which was later decommissioned in 1961. (Note: The land that Camp Mills was built on is now part of the village of Garden City.)The collection is comprised of sixty-one 2 5/8” x 4 3/8” and six 3 1/8” x 5 1/2” black-and-white photographs taken by an unknown WWI soldier in the Quartermaster Corps. The photos were taken between January and April of 1919, when Camp Mills was used as a post-war port of debarkation. They depict daily life at the camp, and contain annotations on the versos.

Search this Collection in Long Island Memories.

Long Beach Bridge Construction PhotographsIn July 1953, Nassau County Executive A. Holly Patterson awarded a $5 million construction contract to Merritt-Chapman and Scott Corporation of New York to build a replacement for the overburdened and outdated Long Beach Bridge. Construction of the east span of the new bridge was completed in May 1955, and the west span was finished fourteen months later. The bridge connects Long Beach to Island Park and spans Reynolds Channel.The collection, which spans the years 1953-1956, contains over three hundred 8” x 10” black and white photographs of the construction of the new Long Beach Bridge.

Search this Collection in Long Island Memories

Hofstra Shakespeare Festival PhotographsBegun in 1950, Hofstra University’s Annual Shakespeare Festival is the longest continuously running college festival of its kind in the United States. The Festival’s earliest plays featured professional actors, but performances have long since featured students from the University’s Drama and Dance Department. Many Festival programs have been staged on a five-sixth reproduction of London’s Globe Theatre, the construction of which was based on a model of the Globe created by John Cranford Adams, President of Hofstra University from 1944 to 1964 and a noted Shakespeare scholar. A number of Festival performers have gone on to successful careers in television and on Broadway.The collection includes a selection of digitized photographs and slides featuring scenes from performances dating back to the Festival’s first performance, Julius Caesar, in 1950.

Search this Collection in Long Island Memories


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