Conserving History: Setauket Land Deed, 1752

1752 Land deed, Benjamin Hallock, Old Field, Setauket, NY.

1752 land deed, Benjamin Hallock, Old Field, Setauket, NY.

A rare 1752 Long Island land deed, from the papers of the Childs and Lockwood families, was recently professionally conserved. The collection of Eversley Childs (1867-1953) and family members, who resided in Crane Neck, Village of Old Field, NY, New York City, and Greenwich, CT, were donated to Special Collections by Childs’ great-granddaughter, Wendy Lockwood Fidao Bali. Read more about the collection here.


The document describes the acquisition of land (“Old Field Beach”) by Benjamin Hallock in Old Field, Setauket, New York on May 12, 1752 for a sum of seven pounds.


The conservation process included photographing the document, surface cleaning with a sponge, bathing in an aqueous solution to reduce the acidity of the iron gall ink, and removing tape and adhesive residues. It was then alkalized in a calcium bicarbonate bath to provide a buffer. To prevent further degradation, it was lined with Japanese paper and wheat starch paste to stabilize breaks and tears. The document was then flattened and a polyester sleeve was created to provide further protection for storage and handling.


The entire collection will receive archival processing and be available for research use next year. For more information about Special Collections and University Archives, visit the website for the department -Kristen J. Nyitray

Kristen Nyitray

Kristen Nyitray

Associate Librarian; Director, Special Collections and University Archives; and University Archivist at Stony Brook University Libraries
Contact her for research assistance with rare books, manuscript collections, historical maps, and SBU history. E-mail:
Kristen Nyitray
Posted in History, Special Collections & University Archives