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Westchester County Historical Society Announces the 2015 Winner of the Sy Schulman History Award: Barbara Davis, New Rochelle City Historian

Written By: Robert Cox

ELMSFORD, NY — The Westchester County Historical Society has selected Barbara Davis, City Historian for New Rochelle, to receive its 2015 Sy Schulman History Award. The presentation of the award will take place at the Society’s annual meeting scheduled for Sunday, May 31, 2015, at 3 pm at the Irvington Public Library in Irvington, New York.

The Society instituted the award in 2014 in memory of Sy J. Schulman, a former WCHS trustee and extraordinarily accomplished urban planner, who passed away in 2012. It is given each year to an individual or organization that has demonstrated a strong commitment to historical research, historic preservation, and/or the teaching of local history, and has, as a result, elevated the public?s appreciation of the history of Westchester County.

Barbara Davis is the Society?s third awardee.  The initial award recipients were the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, and Robert M. Riggs, a founder of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy. Davis was selected for the 2015 honors in recognition of the breadth and depth of her activities benefiting both her home community, New Rochelle, and the County of Westchester.

Barbara Davis managed the New Rochelle Tricentennial events, instituted a local history archive at the New Rochelle Public Library, developed a New Rochelle Hall of Fame walk to recognize outstanding residents, and created a Downtown History Hop tour for mobile devices that will be launched this summer; these are just a few of her many hands-on accomplishments.

Besides serving as New Rochelle’s city historian, Davis has long been engaged in countywide undertakings.  She has served two six-year terms as a trustee of the Westchester County Historical Society.  She also served as its president from1991 to 1993.  She served as chair of the Westchester County Historic Preservation Advisory Council from 2000-2010.

Davis was an early champion in making local history more accessible through on-line exhibits by collaborating in 2009 with the Westchester County Archives, WCHS and the Army Corps of Engineers to develop a comprehensive website illustrating the rich history of Fort Slocum and Davids Island. She has authored many articles in local newspapers and The Westchester County Historian on the history of the county.  She has worked for Westchester County, the Westchester Library System, and the Hudson River Museum.  Currently, she serves as community relations coordinator for the New Rochelle Public Library.

Westchester County Historical Society, founded in 1874, is the official County Historian.  It houses the largest collection of local history in the county and makes that collection available to the public on a regular basis.  It publishes books on local history and has published its quarterly magazine, The Westchester Historian, since 1925. The Society is a member-based, not-for-profit corporation.  Its annual meeting on May 31 is open to the public, although reservations are required.  For further information, contact the Society at 914 592-4323 or email them at