Delaware Historical Society Debuts Public Digital Collections

Digital Images and Documents From the Society’s Collections Aid Researchers in Locating and Discovering Historical Sources

March 15, 2022 – Delaware Historical Society (DHS) announces the launch of their new digital collections platform. The nonprofit has begun digitizing collections to enhance access to DHS resources for local, regional, and national audiences. It offers access to primary source information to everyone from researchers, teachers and students, as well as to the general public.

DHS collaborated with the JP Morgan Chase “Force for Good” program, an initiative designed to bring sustainable technology solutions to nonprofits worldwide, to launch the digital collections platform. The program provided organizational and logistical support.

Leigh Rifenburg, DHS Chief Curator, described the initiative. “Our digital collections site is about sharing DHS collections and making them accessible to researchers, regardless of location. As the demand for digital access continues to grow, we’re thrilled to connect anyone interested in Delaware history with our resources, here at home and around the world.” According to Executive Director David Young, “The digitization of our collections is a prime example of Delaware Historical Society’s commitment to bringing Delaware’s diverse and fascinating stories to life. We are engaged in many innovative and ambitious programs that demonstrate Delaware’s unique and important place in history.”

Visit digital.dehistory.org to view the digitized photographs and documents. Get a glimpse of daily life in Delaware’s past. Explore Sussex, Kent, and New Castle Counties as they developed through the centuries. Read primary sources about enslavement, liberation, and abolition. More will be added each month, so check back often.

The Rocks and the Underground Railroad

The Rocks and the Underground Railroad or What I Did in Pandemic Isolation – A Research Odyssey. 2022 marks the bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth. Join us as we celebrate Harriet Tubman Day and discover Wilmington’s significance on the journey to freedom.

 

Register Below

Please note: This is an in person event! Seating is limited. Registration is NOT required to view the program via live stream on Facebook.

 

Born enslaved in Maryland, Harriet Tubman successfully escaped bondage but returned repeatedly, risking her life, to lead her family and friends to freedom. Tubman was an associate and friend of Wilmington’s Thomas Garrett, Quaker abolitionist and “stationmaster” on the Underground Railroad in Delaware, but they weren’t the only Underground Railroad operatives in Wilmington.

The Delaware Historical Society invites you to a presentation featuring Debbie Martin, City of Wilmington Historic Preservation Planner and board member of the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware.

Debbie Martin began her foray into Wilmington Black American history with her first assignment as the City of Wilmington’s Historic Preservation Planner – stepping in as the administrator for the City-sponsored feasibility studies that much later culminated in the establishment of the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage in 2016. Her next major assignment was to take over the administration of the fledgling Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware project, supported by the Baker administration and the then-newish program of the National Park Service– the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. By the time this project was completed in 2009, it had established the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (Delaware segment), produced a historic research context, and supported a number of programs and exhibits throughout the state. The Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware became an independent, non-profit organization in 2012, and she serves on the Board of Directors. Also, by that time, she was under the spell of under-told history and there was no turning back.

Among other duties at the City of Wilmington, Debbie is responsible for federal reviews involving historic properties and a wide-variety of public history projects ranging from themed cycling tours, National Register nominations, a web-based Underground Railroad tour, and new public markers and panels on the city landscape.

 

 

Admission to program is FREE but limited to 40 people.

The program will also be livestreamed on Facebook @dehistory.

Delaware Historical Society Launching a New Video Series, Speaking of Delaware…

February 3, 2022 – Join us on the first Thursday of every month as we discover the human side of history.

Learn about the many voices and fascinating life stories that shaped American history. Let’s talk about the paintings of Ed Loper, Miss Nagano, the Japanese Friendship Doll, Thomas Garrett’s silver tray and teapot, and other untold wonders from our collections.

Speaking of Delaware… is a series of short videos presented by the Delaware Historical Society and produced by Short Order Production House. Videos will premiere the first Thursday of every month at 8:30 on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and our website. Check out dehistory.org/speaking-of-delaware for more information about this project and other resources. This series is funded in part by the Longwood Foundation, Delmarva Power, an Exelon Company, and by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Delaware Historical Society’s Digital Collections Go Live!

February 1, 2022 – One of our most frequently asked questions is how to view Delaware Historical Society (DHS) collections online. Now you can!

Today, our digital collections go live! Search our new digital asset management system (DAMS) from your favorite device wherever you are with access to the internet. Check out what we have digitized. More will be added each month, so continue to come back for updates!

After more than a year of hard work and some help from our friends in the JP Morgan Chase Force for Good program, we’re thrilled to invite you in to explore amazing images and documents from our digital collections, with more to come. We believe in making our collections accessible and open to anyone who wants to use them. This allows us to connect and share resources with you and visitors around the world.

Visit digital.dehistory.org and explore the rest of dehistory.org to see other resources we have available!

Delaware Student-Teacher Team Chosen for National History Day Summer Institute in Hawaiʻi

Two women standing next to each other and smiling,, one wearing a green dress and the other wearing a green long-sleeve shirt

Cab Calloway School of the Arts teacher Erin Sullivan and student Ivy Hoffman, 2021

January 31, 2022 – National History Day and Pearl Harbor Historic Sites Provide Learning, Research, and All Expenses Paid Trips to Hawaiʻi

Cab Calloway School of the Arts teacher Erin Sullivan and student Ivy Hoffman have been selected to participate in Sacrifice for Freedom®: World War II in the Pacific Student & Teacher Institute, a student-teacher cooperative learning program. The program, coordinated through National History Day®, is sponsored by the Pearl Harbor Historic Site Partners, including Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Pacific Historic Parks, USS Missouri Memorial Association, and Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum at Pearl Harbor.

During spring 2022, students and teachers in the program will read historical texts and primary documents, participate in online discussions, and research the life of a fallen military member from the student’s region who is buried or memorialized at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.  In July, teams travel to Hawaiʻi to engage in on-site learning opportunities, such as spending a night aboard The USS Missouri and visiting with military and local historians at the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites and across the island of Oahu. Travel and program expenses are provided for all participants.

At the culmination of the Sacrifice for Freedom program, the students will develop a Silent Hero® profile to be published online during the 2022-2023 academic year at NHDSilentHeroes.org.

This year, 54 teams from across the U.S., Guam, and Singapore applied for the competitive summer institute and 16 were selected to participate. Sacrifice for Freedom began in 2019 as an opportunity for student-teacher teams to study World War II in the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Past teacher participants noted that the Institute was a significant professional development experience that changed the way they view World War II in the Pacific. Student participants reported that the research and Hawaiʻi-based learning activities challenged their thinking and expanded their perspective of history.

Erin Sullivan is a National History Day Master Teacher. She has taught for 17 years and has participated in National History Day for 7 years. In addition to supporting students in the state and national competition, Erin has served as a judge, designed teacher resources, provided professional development, and been both a student discussion leader and facilitator for National History Day graduate courses. This year Erin is working with the United States Institute of Peace as a Peace teacher.

Ivy Hoffman is an eleventh-grade Technical Theater major at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. She loves to learn everything she can about world history, but she is especially interested in the stories and lives of individual people and the way their actions can affect the bigger picture. Outside of learning history, she enjoys working behind the scenes for stage productions, writing poetry, serving on Student Council, and acting as a lawyer for her school’s Mock Trial team.

 


About National History Day in Delaware

National History Day in Delaware is a year-long history education program that challenges students in grades 6 through 12 to engage in historical research, analysis and interpretation, and creative expression through project-based learning. National History Day in Delaware promotes civic, career, and college ready skills necessary for the 21st century. National History Day Delaware has been sponsored by the Delaware Historical Society for more than 20 years. For more information email Director of Education, Rebecca Fay at rfay@dehistory.org or visit www.dehistory.org.

About National History Day (NHD)

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels. The top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and Southwest Airlines. For more information, visit nhd.org.

About the Delaware Historical Society

The Delaware Historical Society owns and operates the Delaware History Museum; the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage; a nationally recognized Research Library; Old Town Hall; Willingtown Square, four 18th-century houses surrounding a picturesque urban courtyard located in downtown Wilmington; and the Read House & Gardens, a National Historic Landmark. For more information, call (302) 655-7161, email deinfo@dehistory.org or visit www.dehistory.org.

 

National History Day in Delaware 2022 to Take Place on April 30

Save the date! National History Day in Delaware in taking place on Saturday April 30, 2022 at Newark High School (venue subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions).

National History Day in Delaware, an educational program sponsored by the Delaware Historical Society, engages middle and high school students from across the state in historical research, interpretation, and creative expression through project-based learning.

We need Judges for the state competition. No experience necessary. All we require is a love of supporting students. Email rfay@dehistory.org or visit dehistory.org/national-history-day for more information.

LIT for the Holidays

Celebrate the magic of the holidays with new art installations and a fireside drink in our beautiful historic gardens!

 

Purchase Tickets Below

 

A modern holiday tradition continues with brand-new installations by 10 artists from across the country—all here in one of America’s quaintest historic towns. Why not grab friends or family and make it an evening with festive drinks, local food, firepits, and music?

Explore illuminated holiday displays by artists from New Castle, Wilmington, Philadelphia, San Diego, Hollywood, and Sarasota, then grab a hot drink and follow the winding garden paths to your own fireside table on the grounds of a National Historic Landmark.

Like the generations before us who saw and decorated the Read House through the lens of their own times, the artists and community who come together at LIT for the Holidays help us find new ways of seeing an old house and landscape.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit readhouseandgardens.org using the button below!

 

 

 

 

Conversation with Kevin McGonegal | Wicked Wilmington, Delaware

Join the Lewes Public Library and Delaware Historical Society for a conversation with local historian Kevin McGonegal, author Wicked Wilmington, Delaware, featuring tales of Wilmington’s infamous past. Joining Kevin is Dr. David Young, Executive Direcotor of Delaware Historical Society.

 

Register Below

 

Take a journey through crime and vice in twentieth-century Wilmington, from a Tatnall Street bawdy house to the corporate boardrooms of the DuPont Company. Visit the old New Castle County Workhouse, scene of a break-in by a lynch mob and the daring escape of a notorious murderer. A police chief trying to keep his corrupt practices under wraps, agents raiding political headquarters and a detective murdered on the street were all part of city life in the early twentieth century. In later years, stories of a professional killer pleading self-defense, hiding his connections to a mobbed-up Teamsters boss, and runaway lovers caught up in an international extortion scheme show the city’s darker side.

We invite you to support the author by purchasing a copy of their book from Browseabout Books. Call-in orders are accepted at (302) 226-2665 or you can stop by the store to purchase a copy. For store hours, please visit their website. Each copy purchased comes with a signed bookplate.

This is a Lewes Library hosted event co-sponsored by Delaware Historical Society.

NOTE: this meeting is being conducted through Zoom. You MUST REGISTER to receive instructions for joining the meeting.

If you have need assistance with registration or getting your Zoom invitation, please email the library.

 

Delaware History Makers Award 2021

The 2021 Delaware History Makers Award Honoring Velma P. Scantlebury, M.D., Former Associate Director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Christiana Care will take place on October 7, 2021 at 6pm.

Dr. Scantlebury became the nation’s first woman transplant surgeon of African-American descent in 1989 and has performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants. She earned her medical degree from Columbia University and completed her residency at Harlem Hospital Center in New York. Dr. Scantlebury performed her training in transplant surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons ad the American Society of Minority Health an Transplant Professionals, among other organizations. Co-author of more than 85 peer-reviewed papers and 10 monographs and book chapters, Dr. Scantlebury sits on numerous boards and committees, including Donate Life American, the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program, and the United Network for Organ Sharing. Dr. Scantlebury has served as a national spokesperson for Linkages to Life, an initiative to address the shortage of African-American organ donors and has been recognized as one of the Best Doctors in American by BestDoctors.com.

See dehistory.org/historymakers for more information.

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Building I-95: A Community Divided Part II Panel Discussion

Join the Delaware Historical Society for a virtual panel discussion, Building I-95: A Community Divided Part II, featuring Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, Senator S. Elizabeth “Tizzie” Lockman, Dr. Nina David, and India Colon-Diaz to discuss how the development of I-95 is still affecting the city of Wilmington today and what we can do to bring the community back together. Attendees are encouraged to participate.

 

Register Below

 

Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, is the first Person of Color elected to the Delaware House of Representatives from the 3rd District in 2018. As well, she is First Woman and the First Person of Color elected in the 6th District to the Wilmington City Council in 2012. She earned a Masters in Film from Howard University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware in English/Journalism. She is a proud product of St. Elizabeth School, where she attended for 12 years.

In 2001, Sherry established SWAP Productions LLC, an independent film production company. SWAP is an acronym for Sisters With A Purpose. Sherry humbly believes that her purpose in life is to educate, entertain and enlighten through her films and her public service. For this reason, she conceptualized “Justice For All: The Documentary,” a film focusing on the perils of the juvenile justice system in America and overseas. It was this project that helped change the laws at the federal level regarding juvenile justice, after it was screened before the Congressional Black Caucus.

Also, Sherry serves on the following committees in the House: Chair of the Sunset Committee (Policy Analysis and Government Accountability), Co-chair of the Joint Sunset Oversight Legislative Sunset Committee, Agriculture, Economic Development/Banking/Insurance and Commerce, Revenue and Finance, Judiciary, Transportation/Land Use and Infrastructure and Veterans.

She is the former Vice Chair of the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus, which she helped found in 2019, after an unprecedented eight People of Color were elected to the General Assembly in 2018. She sponsored SB 191 in the House in the 150th General Assembly to add People of Color, as a protected class to the Delaware State Constitution. In the 151st General Assembly,  she sponsored SB 31 the second leg of the amendment adding People of Color as a protected class in Delaware.

As a City Councilwoman, Sherry worked tirelessly to foster relationships among businesses, governmental agencies and schools. Sherry established Above The Rim Basketball League with the Browntown Civic Association Kidz Club. With the help of the community, Sherry created a crime-fighting program using solar-powered lights. The lights were strategically placed in high-crime areas and the program drastically reduced crime in the neighborhood. Also, Sherry advocates for educators, children and their families in the school and local communities. Moreover, Sherry literally walks the streets of her district, in an effort to identify constituents who desire to work and assists them with becoming gainfully employed. She continues these same efforts as a State Representative. She recently received the Trailblazer Award from the Sigma Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also received the FBI Citizens Award for her work in the community.

Additionally, Sherry is Co-Chairwoman of the Teen Warehouse Board, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Kind to Kids, a Board Member of Camp Bliss and #TeamJalil. She is the former Member of the Board of Parole, Commissioner for the Governor’s Women’s Commission, the Biden Breast Health Initiative, former Vice President of the Delaware Africa Caribbean Coalition, St. Michael’s Day School Board Member and Public Allies of Delaware Board. Sherry is a Commissioner for the Delaware African Caribbean Affairs Commission in the State Department. She is also a Member and Trustee at Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, DE. Sherry is married to her College Sweetheart, Dwight. Sherry is a Proud Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

 

Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman was elected to the State Senate in November 2018 and represents communities in and surrounding central and west Wilmington. Her district is one of the most diverse and densely populated in Delaware. She was raised in Wilmington’s Cool Spring neighborhood.

Sen. Lockman has long been an advocate for education reform, originally through her local Parent Teacher Association and then as a member of the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee (WEAC). When WEAC established the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission (WEIC) – which focused on better serving Wilmington’s public school students through equity-focused funding – Lockman became the group’s Vice Chair.

Sen. Lockman entered community service through Public Allies Delaware in 2004, where she served as Program Manager for the Hearts & Minds Film Initiative of Serviam Media. When her daughter enrolled in kindergarten at Highlands Elementary School, Sen. Lockman joined the Parent Teacher Association and served as the group’s president from 2010-2013.

Sen. Lockman continues to fight for reforming public education, most recently leading a grassroots organizing effort to develop community leadership on this issue as the director of the Parent Advisory Council on Education (PACE) initiative at the Christina Cultural Arts Center. The initiative pursues a vision to improve effective participation in the public education system to strengthen it for students living in the city of Wilmington with a focus on building recognized parent leadership, driven by local outreach and a community-built advocacy agenda.

Sen. Lockman was elected by her peers as Senate Majority Whip, in 2021 and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and Senate Rules & Ethics committee, vice chair of the Education Committee and serves on the Senate Executive committee. She also serves as co-chair of the Redding Consortium for Education Equity, which is developing ways the Delaware Department of Education and the General Assembly can improve outcomes for students in Wilmington and Northern New Castle County.

 

Dr. Nina David is an Associate Professor in the Joseph R. Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware. She has degrees in Architecture, Environmental Science, and Urban and Regional Planning. Dr. David specifically focuses on studying the impacts of governmental policies on the built environment. Her work has been published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, Land Use Policy, Planning Practice and Research, and Informatics. She routinely partners with state, local governments, non-profits and communities on planning projects and engaged community research.

 

India Sarai Colon-DiazIndia Colon-Diaz is an Arawak/Taino Native American and a retired War Veteran from the United States Air Force after serving for 22 years. As a lifelong Delaware resident wife and mother, India has dedicated her public service as an activist, leading legislative initiatives that impact the Hispanic communities and veterans and served as the first Hispanic Commissioner for the Board of Elections. Today she is the Vice President of Nuestras Raices, a nonprofit organization dedicated to volunteer work in the cultural arts in Delaware with programs such Delaware Kids Arts Network, Arts in the Park, Latino Emerging Leaders Program and Delaware Latina Empowerment Series.

 

Sarah LesterThe panel will be moderated by Sarah Lester, President & CEO of WestSide Grows Together.

 

 

 

 

Registration Required

 

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