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Posted on: November 18, 2022

Accepting applications for Town Historian, reply by December 6

The Town of Bethlehem is seeking candidates for the Part-Time Town Historian position.  The Town Historian position is mandated by a state law created in 1919 with the expectation that every municipality would have a historian to engage in (1) research and writing, (2) teaching and public presentations, (3) historic preservation, and (4) organization, advocacy, and tourism.

The preferred candidate should also exhibit the ability to deal effectively with the public and have strong communication skills.

Primary duties/knowledge include but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Maintains records from newspapers, magazines, books, social media, and other sources of information relating to events of historical interest which happen through the Town of Bethlehem;
  • Assists students, historian, and organizations interested in securing general or specialized information relating to events in the history of the municipality;
  • Ascertains which current activities or events have historical significance and records such events within the files of the office;   

Additional overview of the position

  • Will be available during regular office hours and/or other means of contact to the community who periodically drop by with memorabilia, old photos, questions, and reminiscences that they share which are invaluable to the history of our town.  Office hours will be set by the new Town Historian and may include evenings, if desired;
  • Participation/collaboration with several history groups in Town, most notably the Bethlehem Historical Association and the Friends of the Slingerland Vault to showcase and celebrate our Town history;
  • Organization of local tours which may include walking tours of neighborhoods, exploring cemeteries, kayaking along the Hudson shoreline, or other ideas the new Historian may want to implement;
  • Provide historical perspective to the Town Planning Department and Planning Board when projects are proposed in historically important areas and help chart a positive course for preserving our Town history in the context of the Comprehensive Plan Update.

Minimum Qualifications:

Graduation from high school or completion of a general equivalency diploma and one (1) year of paid or volunteer experience as a library assistant, researcher or in public information work.

The Town Historian is self-directed and largely free to take the position in directions that are rewarding to them and beneficial to the Town.  The Town Board appoints the position annually, and it carries an annual stipend of $5,000.

Interested residents should send a resume, completed employment application, and cover letter to RNagengast@TownOfBethlehem.org by December 6, 2022.

Additional Info...
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