New Paltz Dean to Edit Encyclopedia of New York State

NEW PALTZ — Gerald Benjamin, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and political science professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz, has been named an associate editor for “The Encyclopedia of New York State.” The 1,500 page volume, to be published by Syracuse University Press, will feature an estimated 3,500 entries by hundreds of expert contributors.

Editor-in-chief Peter Eisenstadt, says Benjamin was selected because of his impressive “professional lifetime involvement with the study of government and government-related issues in New York State. There’s clearly no one better qualified to treat government in the past century.”

Entries will include articles on every county and hundreds of cities and towns; significant people and events; art and architecture; as well as on diverse populations, labor history, and New York’s role in religious and social movements. The volume will be the most comprehensive, scholarly encyclopedia of the Empire state ever published.

Complimentary copies of “The Encyclopedia of New York State” will be presented to each of the state’s 780 public libraries. It will also be one of the first state encyclopedias designed with an online edition in mind. The electronic version will be updated regularly and linked to hundreds of relevant sites.

The project, funded by grants from New York State and various private sources, is housed at the New York State Archives and State Library in Albany.

Benjamin, a mainstay of the SUNY New Paltz campus for more than 30 years, obtained both his master of arts and doctoral degrees from Columbia University’s Department of Public Law and Government. He was a former chairman of the Ulster County Legislature.