Collecting Wilmington: Place, Perspective, & Memory

Collecting Wilmington: Place, Perspective, and Memory

Delaware History Museum
Dewees/Thronson Foundations Gallery, 2nd Floor

We are all collectors, but few consider their collections beyond personal pleasure or interest, or how to use them to promote an understanding of a certain time and place. The Paul Preston Davis Collection of Delawareana is a notable exception. Organized and preserved over four decades with the needs of future researchers in mind, it represents the dedication of a meticulous collector with a uniquely focused collecting philosophy.

This collection—which includes business ephemera, rare print materials, sheet music, commemorative objects, and photography—informs our understanding of Mr. Davis’ native Wilmington from the mid 19th through the early 20th centuries. Each section invites us to examine objects from multiple perspectives and to consider how our own collections can build community memory and a meaningful sense of place.

Collecting Wilmington: Place, Perspective & Memory is an exhibition in five culminating phases. The final phase opened in September 2021 and the full exhibition is now on display.