Frequently Asked Questions

Based in downtown Wilmington, the Delaware Historical Society was founded in 1864 and today consists of the Delaware History Museum, Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, Research Library, and the Read House & Gardens, as well as several historic buildings. To learn more about who we are, what we do, and how we came to be, see About Us!


The main campus of the Delaware Historical Society is located on Market Street in Wilmington, Delaware, but we are more than just our main office! The Delaware History Museum, Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, and Old Town Hall are located at 504 N. Market Street. The Research Library and Willingtown Square, comprised of four eighteenth-century historic buildings, are located at 505 N. Market Street. The Read House & Gardens is located at 42 the Strand in Historic New Castle, about 10 minutes away from Wilmington. Visit Our Historic Properties for a virtual stroll around our campuses.


The Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage is the state’s only place dedicated to Delaware’s African American history. Founded in 2016, the Center’s mission  is to collect, preserve, research, and present for public enrichment the history and heritage of Delaware’s African Americans and is located within the same building as the Delaware Historical Society administrative offices and the Delaware History Museum. The Mitchell Center offers programs, exhibitions, and special events throughout the year. Please check the Mitchell Center blog for updates.


For information on directions and parking, please see Plan Your Visit.

For additional questions, email or call:
Delaware Historical Society

(302) 655-7161

Read House & Gardens

(302) 322-8411


No, we do not sell nor are we affiliated with the company that does sell historic Delaware license plate reproductions. For information on how to purchase a historic Delaware License plate, please see the Delaware Historic Plate Company at or call (302) 369-8247.


No, the Delaware Historical Society is not the authority on the National Register of Historic Places. To find out how to list your property, please see the National Park Service’s website.


Are you renovating or restoring a historic home? Our Research Library has a variety of resources that may be helpful if you are researching the history of your home or address.


No, the Delaware Historical Society’s research library is a separate entity from the Wilmington Public Library, located at 10 E 10th St, Wilmington, Delaware. Visit for more information.


No, the Delaware Genealogical Society is a separate entity from the Delaware Historical Society. Visit for more information.


No, the Delaware Public Archives, located in Dover, is a separate entity from the Delaware Historical Society.


We welcome all researchers to our Research Library at 505 N. Market Street, but we also understand that not everyone can visit in person. For a fee, our library staff will do preliminary research on your project using our archives, but please be aware our research service cannot exceed one (1) hour of investigation and that successful results are not guaranteed.

If you have specific research needs, please visit Research Services. If you have a quick question, please email or call us at (302) 655-7161.


Please refer to our Photo Policy or our Copyright Policy.

If you would like to use an image or quote from our website, please email


Usually, yes. If an image, document, or artifact can be safely scanned or photographed, we are happy to provide digital images with at least two weeks’ notice for a nominal fee. Please note that usage fees are in addition to reproduction fees and vary according to intended use. Please see Research Services for more information. For permission to publish and other questions regarding digital reproduction and use, please contact


Any contribution you make to the Delaware Historical Society, whether that be monetary or through membership, is much appreciated! You can donate or become a member by visiting Support.