Saturday, April 16, 2016
5 p.m. prompt till 6.p.m.

The tom twomey series 2016 season kickoff

a discussion About COLONIAL COMMERCE

Materials from the Library’s Long island collection

Frank Sorrentino, Researcher
Steve Russell Boerner, Archivist

Hosted by Dennis Fabiszak

A fascinating exploration of a new transcription project that involves the account books, journals, ledgers, and documents of Robert Townsend (1753-1838) of Oyster Bay, housed in the Library’s Long Island Collection. Townsend, who was engaged in business in New York City, was one of two main members of the Culper Spy Ring, organized under the order of General George Washington at the height of the Revolutionary War, during the British occupation of New York City. Volunteer Frank Sorrentino’s expertise in colonial currency and 18th century bookkeeping  practices has given invaluable new context to these important documents. The presentation will also showcase other historical gems from the collection to shed new light on our region’s commerce, currrency and economics during the Revolutionary period. Steve will highlight additional colonial commerce materials located in the Long Island Collection which are sure to be of interest to both researchers and local residents.


Frank Sorrentino has been a highly valued volunteer and friend to the LIC for close to five years; he has continuously transcribed valuable account books in the collection, and for the past four years has completed six account books and numerous loose documents of Robert Townsend, General George Washington’s chief spy out of New York. A retired insurance executive, Frank has developed expertise in colonial currencies, accounting practices, and respective histories to his important projects.


Steve Russell Boerner has been an archivist in the LIC for over ten years; his responsibilities include original Library of Congress cataloging of our vast collection, working collaboratively with Frank to enhance the transcriptions into readily findable tools, digitization, and helping patrons navigate our resources. As Steve has a background in land surveying, his area of specialization and interest is land and cartographic information.

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    generously underwritten by

      Judith Hope Twomey