THE SEARCH for Queens' next borough historian centers on three seasoned experts with markedly different backgrounds - and no clear front-runner as a June selection deadline approaches, sources said.
A college librarian, an "urban explorer," and a curiosity-hunting Webmaster occupy the short list to become the borough's next advocate for historic preservation and research, insiders said.
The sources asked to remain anonymous because the office of Borough President Helen Marshall, which formed a committee to review candidates, has refused to reveal the applicants' names.
Marshall is expected to announce her pick in June.
Walsh, 52, who also runs guided tours for the Newtown Historical Society, said he feels qualified because running the site has led him "down many roads of hitherto unremarked-on Queens locales."
If the committee seeks a more academic option, however, a pair of contenders with doctorates may rise above Walsh, who holds a bachelor's degree in sociology.
"That's what geographers do," said Eichenbaum, 67, who has a doctorate in urban geography. "We explore, we try to find things that nobody has unearthed for a while."
Three other applicants - described as younger and lesser-known in Queens history circles - submitted résumés but are not likely finalists, sources said.
Interestingly, several prominent experts did not apply.
Members of the selection committee described the ideal candidate as a "people person" with experience, passion and time to devote to the unsalaried position.