The Huntington Free Library and Reading Room’s current president, Angel Hernandez, was appointed as the fifth Bronx borough historian back in May 2023. Bestowing the honor was Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson, who also presented a proclamation and an award of recognition to Lloyd Ultan, Borough Historian Emeritus, for 26 years of service (read the official press release here.) Angel is the youngest appointed borough historian in the city’s history, and also the first of color.
Angel is no stranger to Bronx history. He is a native of The Bronx, particularly from the Soundview section. A proud graduate of CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College with a B.A. in Sociology and M.A. in American History, Angel enjoys educating locals and visitors about the borough’s rich history and ever-changing demographics. He works closely with educational institutions in an effort to teach local and neighborhood history to students – a subject rarely taught in the classroom.
Although his passion for Bronx history dates back to his adolescent years, it was Angel’s 8-year tenure at The Bronx County History Society as Director of Programs and External Relations where he fully grasped his ambitions to one day be an official Borough Historian. As a former college student of current Bronx Borough Historian Lloyd Ultan, Angel brought a similar passion to The Society when he began The Bronx Latino History Project, raised funds for audio tours to be implemented at the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage and the Valentine-Varian House (Museum of Bronx History), conducted scores of walking tours and lectures on Bronx history, and worked with after-school programs to export quality Bronx historical programming.
After his tenure at The Society in late 2018, Angel created his own tour guide company called Bronxcursions, Inc. In addition to offering some of The Bronx’s best walking tours and lectures, Bronxcursions offers quality bus tours, consultations, and always highlights local businesses. With an ongoing relationship with The Bronx Tourism Council, Angel has led some of the council’s most popular experiences like “The Bronx Breweries and Distilleries” and “Bronx Mansions and Cottages” trolley tours. It was this same partnership that during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic Bronxcursions and The Bronx Tourism Council produced the still popular podcast series “Go Bronx Podcast,” which won the prestigious Webby award in the Best Limited Series category the following year.
In April 2019, Angel was elected president of The Huntington Free Library and Reading Room, a historic city landmark completed in the 1890s and considered to be one of the borough’s oldest public libraries. Leading the library’s daily operations on the cusp of a new age, Angel envisions new implementations that will keep its legacy alive. He also currently works at The New York Botanical as Director of Government Relations.