The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is committed to scholarly and technical research that provides a basis for appreciating, conserving and interpreting the historical architecture, collections and social history associated with the "Eagle's Nest" estate. Professional staff and consultants with expertise in such fields as collections care and treatment, historic preservation, and natural and social history are periodically engaged in research projects that increase our understanding of the collections and their proper stewardship.
For example, the Director of Research, Interpretation & Public Programming is currently engaged in a project to reclassify and re-catalog the museum's marine collections. This information will enable scholars to make use of Vanderbilt's world-wide collection of marine specimens.
The collections contain over 12,000 documents and images on the life and interests of William K. Vanderbilt II. Included are more than 1,000 books on exploration, natural history and the decorative arts, scientific journals, 15 scrapbooks, over 5,000 black and white photographs documenting Vanderbilt's family life and scientific explorations, and architectural plans and photo albums of the Centerport, L.I. and Fisher Island, Florida estates. Log books from Vanderbilt's around-the-world expeditions document his experiences and the people and places he visited during the 1920s and 1930s. Over 300 original pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations of marine specimens by William E. Belanske, Vanderbilt's curator during the expeditions, are preserved. Original, one-of-a-kind photos and documentation of the Vanderbilt Cup Races on Long Island (1904-1906, 1908-1910) and the building and history of Vanderbilt's Long Island Motor Parkway are also preserved.
Procedures and policies for archival research are available upon request. Researchers wishing to make an appointment should contact Reference & Archives.