About Us

Our Story

Since its founding in 1864, the Delaware Historical Society (DHS) has acquired nine historic buildings related to Delaware’s past and an extraordinary collection of more than 3 million objects, books, documents, photographs, and maps. We are the only private nonprofit organization with the mission to serve as the statewide organization exploring, preserving, promoting, and sharing Delaware history, heritage, and culture to educate, inspire, and empower people and communities.

Stay up-to-date on Delaware Historical Society news by subscribing to DHS Insider!

Our Mission

The Delaware Historical Society is a non-profit organization that preserves, promotes, and shares Delaware’s history in a welcoming environment to educate, inspire, and empower people and communities.

Our Vision

The Delaware Historical Society was founded in May 1864 for “the elucidation of history, particularly such portions as may refer to Delaware.” Over the next 15 decades, the organization refined its stated purpose to reflect both a changing society and the evolution of the public history profession.

Today, the Delaware Historical Society endeavors to be a national model for engaging a diverse citizenry in Delaware’s unique history through the documentation, interpretation, presentation, and preservation of our state’s artifacts, buildings, and stories.

Our Values

The Delaware Historical Society:

  • Adheres to the highest professional standards and best practices as prescribed by organizations such as the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) , the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA);
  • Practices exemplary stewardship in managing all its resources;
  • Sponsors programs and provides services which are accurate, engaging, inclusive, entrepreneurial, and innovative;
  • Is an active and valuable participant in mission-related partnerships and collaborations;
  • Encourages broad participation and perspectives in programming; and
  • Fosters a climate of respect, collegiality, and professionalism at work and in the community.

Our Staff

Ivan Henderson, Executive Director
Bryttany Ewers, Administrative Assistant
Iyannah S. Walton-Bacon, Executive Office Manager/Staff Accountant

Kathleen Butler, Director of Institutional Advancement
Rick Stowell, Donor Relations and Grants Manager
Jonah Delasanta, Development and Communication Coordinator
Nicole Avallone, Graphic Designer
Carol Washington, Rental & Events Coordinator

Ashley Mills, Director of Buildings and Grounds
Carlos Gaillard, Maintenance Technician

Leigh Rifenburg, Chief Curator
Jennifer Potts, Curator of Objects
Edward Richi, Curator of Printed Materials
Bill Robinson, Preservation Librarian

Kristin Geiger-Rayca, Web and Digital Projects Manager

Rebecca Fay, Director of Education and Inspiration

Brenton Grom, Director of the George Read II House & Gardens
Debbie Harper, Curator of Education
Cydele Duquette-Reich, Marketing and Events Coordinator

Our Board


Stephen Kingsberry
Board Chair

Kevin McGonegal
1st Vice Chair

Brionna L. Denby, Esq.
2nd Vice Chair

Paula D. Hearst

Dan Scholl
Vice Secretary

Carlo A. Lombardi



Cara Blume
Gregory T. Chambers
Kathleen Kreusch Cobb
The Hon. Nancy Cook
Richard F. Corroon
Robert R. Davis
Bruce Flournoy Dalleo

Carla Durante
Charles J. Durante
Carrie W. Gray, D.B.A.
Elizabeth Higginbotham
Karen M. Ingram
Alexandra Alevizatos Kirtley
Alicia M. Laster
Mary Ann Kelly MacDonald
Mary Kate McLaughlin

Al Mills
Margaret S. Proctor
Ronald V. Samuels
Greg Sawka
James Simmons
Will Spruance
Jeffrey J. Starkey
John Sweeney
Whitney Sweeney
Kim Zarett


By clicking the image above, a new tab will open to the website for the Lenape Tribe of Delaware.

Land Acknowledgement

We begin by acknowledging with respect, that we gather today in Lenapehoking, traditional homeland of the Lenape people for tens of thousands of years. Sometimes translated “Original People,” the Lenape were known as mediators and called “The Grandfathers”. Encompassing the Delaware River Basin, Lenapehokink includes present-day New Jersey, most of Delaware, the Eastern parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and was home to 20,000 Lenape.


Additional Reading