Written on: June 30th, 2010 in Research Room
Have you ever eaten dinner with your grandparents and had them tell you that you need to clean your plate because during the war we didn’t have a lot of food?
I had an elementary student come in with his grandmother and ask if we had anything on World War II. It seems his grandmother had fussed with him at dinner about not eating everything on his plate. She explained that during the war everyone had to make sacrifices. Food was rationed out, including sugar and he should be glad he had plenty to eat. He didn’t believe that she had to ration sugar or food for that matter. He looked at a variety of records we have for World War II including newspaper clippings, propaganda posters, scrapbooks, a memorial volume of those who died, and of course, rationing coupons. Turns out mom-mom was right.
This past spring, a Dover family donated to the Delaware Public Archives a collection of rough surveys, plots, and calculations created by John C. Hopkins, a longtime surveyor in the area. Most of these materials focus on the Dover area. These materials, once processed, will become part of an already existing collection known as the Hopkins Plots Collection.
Written on: June 22nd, 2010 in Research Room
Have you ever been riding on I95 and wondered what it took to build it, how long it took, or how it has changed over the years? Did you know that John F. Kennedy himself came to the dedication? In fact it was one of his last public appearances before he was assassinated.
Well that’s exactly what happened the other day. A gentleman came in to see if we had any information about the Delaware Turnpike. He was heading to the beach and remembered the excitement of the turnpike opening and taking a family trip to ride on it.
He couldn’t believe all the information we had. We have the scrapbooks that DELDOT made from construction in 1963 up to 1988. We also have reports, photographs, field engineers books, construction plans, correspondence, and video to name just a few of the records we have.
To view the Delaware Turnpike scrapbooks, visit our digital archives.
Written on: June 16th, 2010 in Research Room
Have you ever been driving along and smelled chicken barbequing? Did it make you want chicken or make you start thinking about chicken? Have you ever seen a frying pan big enough that a man could lay down in it? Well then this weekend you will think you have died and gone to chicken heaven!
This weekend is the 61st annual Delmarva Chicken Festival. It returns to Dover at Delaware State University. Did you know that there used to be big parades that accompanied the festival? There were also beauty contests. Did you know that it is in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia?
We have lots of photographs from past festivals. They include the parades, cooking contests, beauty contests, and of course the big frying pan. We also have programs, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings.
To see more pictures, check out the chicken festival album on our facebook page
Written on: June 9th, 2010 in Research Room
It’s that time of year: the crack of a bat, the smell of hot dogs, and screaming parents. Yeah, it’s baseball season! Whether it’s little league, school, or professional, Delaware has plenty of action for you. Did you know you can see how baseball has evolved in Delaware here at the Archives? We have photographs from the Dover Phillies, the Blue Rocks, the Eastern Shore League, Little League, colleges, and high schools. There have also been books written about Delaware’s baseball. You can check out America’s Pastime in the First State by Paul Bauerschmidt, The Blue Rocks Past and Present by Elbert Chance, Judy Johnson Delaware’s Invisible Hero by Ellen Rendle and many more. To see what books are available, check out the Delaware Library Catalog.
To view some of the pictures we have on baseball, view the baseball album on our Facebook page.
The latest Inside the DPA video has been published to YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAin4U4VblQ. This newest installment, number 10 in the series, focuses on the United States Census and the valuable genealogical information one can gleam from this source. This video was the first one that featured an off-site shoot. We’d like to thank the Dunham family for the use of their home in this video. Check it out!
Written on: June 4th, 2010 in Research Room
We typically do not collect private papers, but we do have some. One of the collections of private papers we have in our Small Manuscript Collection is the Florence Lewis Papers. There are several series within this collection, from newspapers to genealogical research notes. But the one I want to talk about today is the land records. They date from 1680-1914. The records deal with land in Kent and Sussex County, especially in the Milford area. They include plots, deeds, surveys and surveyors notes. The collection also includes some unique items like a return for bibles distributed to the poor by the Sussex County Bible Society, an 1859 tax assessment for School District 5 and 116, and a 1846 tavern license to name a few.
The plot I have attached is the earliest illustration of a ship on the Mispillion River. On June 12th there will be an event at the Wilson M Vinyard Shipyard to celebrate the launching of a restored yacht on the Mispillion.
For a complete description of this collection please view our on line guide to our collections.