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Stony Brook University

Library Liaison Profiles

Kristen Nyitray

Kristen J. Nyitray

Associate Librarian
Director, Special Collections & University Archives
University Archivist

Liaison: Special Collections, Manuscripts, Rare and Special Books, Historical Maps, University Archives, and Stony Brook Authors
E-2320 Melville Library | 631.632.7119

How can Kristen help you?

Kristen J. Nyitray is Director of Special Collections and University Archives, and University Archivist at Stony Brook University. Contact her for research assistance with rare books, manuscript collections, archives, historical maps, and SBU history.

She holds degrees from Stony Brook University and the City University of New York. Her research interests include antiques, archival science, rare and special books, cartography, and Long Island history. 

Certifications & Certificates

  • Certified Archivist (C.A.), Academy of Certified Archivists
  • Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certificate, Society of American Archivists
  • Public Librarian Certificate, New York Education Department, New York State Library
  • Public School Teacher Certificate, School Media Specialist (Library), Provisional (K-12), University of the State of New York, Education Department 

Select Honors & Awards 

  • Chancellor’s Award, Excellence in Librarianship, State University of New York
  • President’s Award, Excellence in Librarianship, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
  • Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Librarianship, Town of Brookhaven, New York
  • Graduate School Organization Service Award, Stony Brook University
  • Honorary Co-chair, 16th Annual Long Island Pride Parade and Festival in the Park, Huntington, New York
  • “Keep on Keepin’ on: Music of the Civil Rights Movement,” awarded best Black History Month program, Committee to Celebrate Diversity, Stony Brook University (with F. Cash)

Department Awards & Recognition

  • Kate Wheeler Strong Memorial Award from Three Village Historical Society, New York "in recognition of significant contributions toward fostering of interest in local history and a fuller appreciation of the rich historical and cultural heritage of this community." (2020)

  • New York Board of Regents and New York State Archives “Annual Archives Award for Program Excellence in a Historical Records Repository” (2009)

Collaborative Award

  • Stony Brook University: Kate Wheeler Strong Memorial Award from Three Village Historical Society, New York for the Acquisition of the 1779 George Washington "Culper Spy Ring Letter" to The Honorable Steven Englebright, Henry and Marsha Laufer, and Stony Brook University (2007)

Select Grants

  • FAHSS interdisciplinary initiatives grant (Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and lettered Social Sciences) for "Celebrating Long Island's Poet: Walt Whitman at 200" (with Susan Scheckel), Fall 2018
  • Stony Brook University Provost Lecture Series grant for "Walt Whitman and the Politics of Optimism" with Matt Aucoin featuring selections performed from his original opera Crossing, 2018
  • TALENT Grant (Teaching and Learning Enhancements with New Technology) for development of the tutorial "Using Primary Sources in Research," Stony Brook University, 2017-2018
  • Presidential Mini-Grant for Departmental Diversity Initiatives for the Stony Brook University Art Crawl (with Art Crawl Committee), 2017-2018
  • World War I and America grant: a two-year national initiative of The Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities (with S. Stieglitz), 2016-2018
  • TALENT Grant (Teaching and Learning Enhancements with New Technology), Stony Brook University, for the "William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection" (with R. Guins), 2013-2014
  • FAHSS interdisciplinary initiatives grant (Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and lettered Social Sciences) for "England and Italy: Poetry and Poetic Influence in the Nineteenth Century" (with A. Munich and G. Gazzola), 2012-2013
  • Douglas A. Noverr Grant for Institutional Collection Enhancement, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (with R. Guins and L. Nooney), 2012-2013
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory/Stony Brook University Seed Grant to produce the documentary "Tennis for Two" (with R. Guins and P. Takacs), 2012-2013
  • FAHSS interdisciplinary initiatives grant (Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and lettered Social Sciences) for "Game History and Preservation Conference" (with R. Guins and H. Volat), 2011-2012
  • Institute of Museum and Library Studies and American Association for State and Local History grant "Connecting to Collections Bookshelf"

Current Professional Service

  • Mentor, Society of American Archivists Mentoring Program
  • Long Island Libraries Resources Council, Committee for the Preservation of Local History
  • Culper Spy Day Committee (Three Village Area community initiative)

Current Stony Brook University Service

  • CommUniversity Day, Team Leader for Traditions, History and Culture 
  • University Social Media Users Group
  • University Art Crawl Committee
  • Chancellor's Excellence in Librarianship Committee, Chair
  • Faculty Mentor, University Libraries
  • Lead Selectors Working Group, University Libraries
  • Digital Initiatives Working Group, University Libraries
  • Academic Engagement Working Group, University Libraries
  • Communications and Outreach Working Group, University Libraries

Select Publications & Presentations


Nyitray, Kristen J. Long Island Beaches. Postcard History Series. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2019.

Nyitray, Kristen J. and Ann M. Becker. Stony Brook​:​ State University of New York. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002​. ​(reprinted in 2007, 2011)​.​


Nyitray, Kristen J. The Alert Collector. "Game On to Game After: Sources for Videogame History." Reference & User Services Quarterly 59/1 (Fall 2019): 7-11.

Nyitray, Kristen J. "Max Fink Papers Span 65-year Career of World-leading Expert on Catatonia and Electroconvulsive Therapy." Archival Elements: Newsletter of the Society of American Archivists Science, Technology, and Health Care Section​ (Summer 2018): 28-30.

Nyitray, Kristen J. and Sally Stieglitz. "Spies in the Archive: Acquiring Revolutionary War Letters Through Community Engagement." RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 18/2 (2017): 44-58.

Stieglitz, Sally and Kristen J. Nyitray. "Using Oral History to Assess Community Impact: A Conversation with Beverly C. Tyler, Historian, Three Village Historical Society." Engaged Scholar Journal  22/2 (2017): 115-122.

Nyitray, Kristen J. and Raiford Guins. “Tennis for Two: The William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection at Stony Brook University.” Metropolitan Archivist, v. 20, no. 2 (Summer 2014): 6-9. 

Nyitray, Kristen J. “William Alfred Higinbotham: Scientist, Activist, and Computer Game Pioneer.” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 33/2 (April-June 2011): 96-101.

Nyitray, Kristen J. "Stony Brook Special Collections and University Archives." Metropolitan Archivist, vol. 15, no 2 (Winter 2010): p.35.

Nyitray, Kristen J. “The AIDC 100 Archives” and “Library Overview: Stony Brook University.” In Celebrating Research: Rare and Special Collections from the Membership of the Association of Research Libraries edited by Philip N. Cronenwett, Kevin Osborn, and Samuel Allen Streit. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2008.

Nyitray, Kristen J. “Book Notes.” Long Island Historical Journal 20 (Fall 2007/Spring 2008):  238-242.

Nyitray, Kristen J. “Book Notes.” Long Island Historical Journal 19 (Fall 2006/Spring 2007): 224-228.

Nyitray, Kristen J. “Long Island Scholarship: A Bibliography of Dissertations and Theses, 2000-2006.” Long Island Historical Journal 18 (Fall 2005/Spring 2006): 133-142.

Nyitray, Kristen J. “Repository Profile: Special Collections and University Archives at Stony Brook.” Metropolitan Archivist, v. 10, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 12-15.

Nyitray, Kristen J. and Ann M. Becker. “Portrait of a University: Documenting Stony Brook.” Metropolitan Archivist, v.10, no. 1 (Winter 2004): 3-5.

Media Commentary

"Spies, George Washington, and the American Revolution." Television interview for a forthcoming series, 2018.

"Washington's Spy Letters." Podcast interview for the Long Island History Project, 2018.

"Special Collections and University Archives." Television interview for "Long Island's Hidden Past." News 12 Long Island, 2016.

"George Washington and the Culper Spy Ring." Television interview for the series “Secrets of the Arsenal​.​” Discovery Communications-America’s Heroes Channel, 2015.

“Long Island at War.” Film interview about the acquisition and preservation of George Washington letters accompanying the exhibition. Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages, Stony Brook, New York, 2014.

“When Games Went Click: The Story of Tennis for Two.” Researcher and archivist for the documentary. New York: The Vladar Company, 2013.

“Greetings from Fire Island, Long Island, New York​.​" Film interview on the life of journalist and women’s rights activist Margaret Fuller for the documentary. Los Angeles: Pacific View Productions. (2013, 2014 on WLIW 21/WNET).

Editorial Appointments

Editorial board and book review editor, Metropolitan Archivist, the quarterly publication of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (2005-2010)

Editorial board and book review editor, Long Island Historical Journal; annual, peer-reviewed, refereed journal (2003-2008)

Select Presentations

March 8, 2020. "Spies in the Archive." Invited lecture, Long Island Maritime Museum, West Sayville, New York.

March 6, 2020: "Creating the Standards-Based OER Tutorial: Using Primary Sources in Research." Invited panelist and presentation, "The 5th Annual Open Access Symposium - Toward Equity and Open Access," Stony Brook, New York.

November 2019. "Marketing Special Collections Through Books." Invited presentation and panelist, Long Island Libraries Resources Council, 24th Annual Archives Conference: Marketing Special Collections in the 21st Century. Jericho, New York.

October 2018. "Evermore a Neighbor: The Life and Legacy of Eversley Childs." Invited lecture,Three Village Historical Society, Setauket, New York.

October 2018. "Minding the Archive: The Max Fink Papers at Stony Brook University." Invited lecture, Long Island Libraries Resources Council, 23rd Annual Archives Conference: Medical Archives, Processing, Privacy and Preservation. Brentwood, New York.

July 2018. "To His Friends at Setauket." Invited lecture and viewing of George Washington letters. Three Village Historical Society, Setauket, New York.

May 2018. "Community Engagement and Outreach Using Primary Sources." With S. Stieglitz. Adelphi University, Libraries Research and Innovation Forum

April 2018. "Unscattered Leaves: Digitization of Otto F. Ege Medieval Manuscripts." With Victoria Pilato, Chris Sauerwald, and Anastasia Chiu. Stony Brook University Libraries Colloquium Series

November 2017. "Historical and Recent Maps of Long Island." With Robert Tolliver. Long Island Geographical Information System (GIS) Users Conference. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

October 2017. "A Revolution in Special Collections: Acquiring George Washington Spy Letters through Community Engagement." With Sally Stieglitz. New York 2017 Archives Week Symposium: Archives and Local History. Center for Jewish History, New York, New York

September 2017. "George Washington and the Culper Spy Ring" 
Find Out in 15 presentation, CommUniversity Day, Stony Brook University
Culper Spy Day. Special Collections, Stony Brook University

March 2017. "Navigating Long Island History Through Maps." Paper presented at "Identification, Care, and Use of Maps." Long Island Library Resources Council, New York

November 2015. "To Stand with the Finest in the Country: The Founding and First Three Decades of Stony Brook University." Stony Brook University Libraries Colloquium Series

October 2014: Society for College and University Planners, 2014 North Atlantic Symposium – Building for Excellence from the Ground Up: Stony Brook First 50 Years. “Looking Back, Looking Forward: From Growing Pains to Maturity.” Stony Brook, New York

October 2013: invited speaker and panelist, 18th Annual Archives Month Conference: “The People of Long Island.” Long Island Libraries Resources Council and the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, Bethpage State Park, New York

November 2011: presentation of “George Washington, Culper Spy Ring, and Setauket” letters at “Rebels, Resisters, and Rioters: New Yorkers Respond to the American Revolution and to the Civil War”; program co-sponsored with the Three Village Historical Society; Stony Brook University

September 2011: co-presenter, “William A. Higinbotham Game Studies Collection at Stony Brook University,” Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

September 2011: presentation of the George Washington letters and discussion; attended by over 500 students, teachers, and parents at Setauket Elementary School, Setauket, New York

Select Exhibitions

October 2017: exhibition curator, "World War I Through the Lens: Photographs of the Western Front, 1914-1918." Central Reading Room, Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, Stony Brook University

October 2017: exhibition curator, "Stony Brook Rocks!" Central Reading Room, Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, Stony Brook University

September 2016: exhibition curator, "Dali in Wonderland." Central Reading Room, Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, Stony Brook University

September 2016: exhibition curator, "Stony Brook on the Map" Central Reading Room, Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, Stony Brook University

2015: online exhibitions (
“Frank Melville, Jr. Memorial Library, 1964-1975”; “New York and Long Island Landscapes”; “Sunwood Estate”; “Mooncakes and Their Wooden Molds”

April 2014: exhibition curator, in conjunction with the Northeast Victorian Studies Association Annual Conference, Poetry Center, Stony Brook University

June 2014 to present: exhibition curator, in conjunction with the Alumni Association’s 50th Annual Anniversary of Classes, Special Collections, Melville Library, Stony Brook University

Spring 2013: exhibition curator, in conjunction with “The Italian Literary Canon in Nineteenth-Century England,” Center for Italian Studies Conference, Stony Brook University

Spring 2013: exhibition curator, in conjunction with the “Bicentennial Celebration for poet and playwright Robert Browning,” Poetry Center, Stony Brook University