Hempstead Village Historian

Reine Bethany’s work as Hempstead Village historian adheres to New York State Law. Sections 57.13 and 57.15 of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law mandate that every town and village and county must appoint a historian. This law was enacted after World War I. State Education Law defines the duties of town historian as follows:

  • To collect and preserve materials related to the town and village
  • To file such material in fireproof safes or vaults in the government offices
  • To call to the attention of local authorities and the state historian any material of local historical value that should be acquired for preservation
  • To make an annual report to the town supervisor, mayor and the state historian
  • Upon retirement or removal from office to turn over to the government entity all materials gathered and correspondence related to that material.

In addition to these duties, Bethany hopes to invite village participation in history via workshops with village organizations and schools, in cooperation with the Mayor’s office, the Hempstead Village Board of Trustees, and the Hempstead Historical Society.


Reine Duell Bethany performed with two modern dance companies in Manhattan and wrote feature articles for the Brooklyn Phoenix before she and her husband Charles started their family of four. The family moved to Hempstead Village in May 1993. Bethany teaches English as an adjunct professor for the New York Institute of Technology and for Nassau Community College. She is also a freelance editor. In October 2012, she published a biography of George Balanchine, founder of the New York City Ballet, and in October 2016 her article "The Plagiarism Polyconundrum" appeared in the Journal of International Students. She is currently writing Hempstead Village for the "Images of America" series produced by Arcadia Publishing. The book will appear in March 2018. 

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