FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Joe Laufer, ext. 5020
Date: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 Pat Parente, ext. 3081
The New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC) recently honored Joe Laufer for his service as Burlington County Historian “and for an exemplary 30-year career spent educating audiences of all ages on the historical wonders of the county.”
Officially appointed Burlington County Historian in 2003, Laufer currently operates out of Burlington County Library headquarters in Westampton and was nominated for the award by Supervising Librarian Paula Manzella. Award recipients were recognized during the 29th Annual New Jersey History Conference held at Georgian Court University on Nov. 17. Laufer, who attended the award ceremony with his wife Penny, was presented with a 2012 NJHC “Award of Recognition” by Margaret Westfield, an architectural historian and NJHC board member.
Over the years, Laufer has served as the voice and face of Burlington County history and has delivered hundreds of lectures both locally and nationwide. The majority of his programs focus on historical topics and to date he has written more than 30 lectures about the history of the region. He has also researched and written lectures specifically for organizations, such as “Historic Smithville,” which was prepared for the H.B. Smith Industrial Village, and “Evesham Township/Marlton: Gateway to Burlington County History,” created for the Evesham Historical Society.
As County Historian, Laufer also launched the popular “Historians’ Roundtable” program that brings together members of local history organizations and other history buffs to share information, and he spearheaded the creation of the History Faire at the Burlington County Farm Fair. He is also actively involved in the selection of recipients for the annual Burlington County Preservation Awards.
Laufer is also involved in a myriad of other programs that help enlighten the public about Burlington County’s rich past, such as the annual New Views Bus Tour, which highlights county landmarks and places, including little know sites of interest. The tours have featured historic schoolhouses, firehouses, churches and monuments.
A strong advocate for the expansion of tourism in Burlington County, Laufer was also a founding member of the Historic Rancocas Valley Tourism Association and he helped create the “Passport to Historic and Natural Burlington County.” Available through the Burlington County Library System, the passport highlights numerous treasures that residents can discover in their own backyards.
In addition, Laufer has served as an elected Southampton Township Committeeman for more than 15 years and he has been active in numerous local and county organizations. He currently serves as president of the H.B. Smith Industrial Village Conservancy and is past president of both the Southampton Historical Society and the Vincentown Library Board. He also served as a board member for the Jack Allen Memorial Country Living Museum, the Roebling Main Gate Museum, and the Burlington County Historical Society.
For more information about Burlington County Historian Joe Laufer, go to www.burlcohistorian.com
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