Delaware Public Archives logo
Delaware Public Archives Blog

Delaware Public Archives

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest  Flickr  YouTube

  Archived Posts From: 2012


Searching for Your Family Roots in the 1940 Census

Written on: March 29th, 2012 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

Looking for help in finding a parent, grandparent, or other relative in the soon to be released 1940 United States Census? The Delaware Public Archives can help!On Saturday, April 7, 10:30 a.m. the Delaware Public Archives will present a program about the 1940 Census featuring Jefferson M. Moak, Senior Archivist with the National Archives & Records Administration, Mid-Atlantic Region. Because the U.S. Census is confidential for 72 years, the 1940 Census will be available to researchers for the first time in April. While the U.S. Census, recorded every ten years, has traditionally been viewed as an extremely valuable genealogical tool, there are changes and differences each time it is conducted and recorded. The Delaware Public Archives is sponsoring this special program in order to help genealogists and researchers get a head start on what this census can provide.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


I Just Got My License!!!

Written on: March 27th, 2012 in Blog Posts

Growing up in Pennsylvania, the only indication that a new driver was behind the wheel was a nervous parent sitting in the front passenger seat or some less-than-confident moves on the road. When I moved to Delaware and began seeing “Novice Driver” stickers affixed to cars, I couldn’t help but like them. What a great way to communicate with other drivers that you need a little extra consideration while you’re mastering the rules of the road. Now, according to the DMV’s website, it’s not mandatory for people with a graduated driver’s license to sport a “Novice Driver” magnet or sticker, but it’s definitely a great tool for keeping everyone safe and aware. It might not seem like the coolest car accessory, but don’t sweat it. We all had to go through the learning process. And hey, it could be worse…

Drivers Education Car 1950s

While organizing our Board of Education photo collection, I came across this shot from Newark High School. Perhaps the “Novice Driver” sticker isn’t quite so bad after all. I also discovered driver education annual reports from 1947 to 1965 and correspondence from 1951 from the 6th Annual National Drivers’ Education  Award Program in our Department of Public Instruction records. I found a “Brief Historical Sketch of Driver Education in Delaware, 1935-1968” in the State Reports collection.

Tags: , , ,


Was That A Delaware Record I Just Saw?!?

Written on: March 16th, 2012 in Research Room



A Unique Honeymoon

So I was watching TV last night and an commercial came on.  It was a woman talking about how she was looking for information on her grandmother and lo and behold she found her marriage record.  To my surprise the next image they showed was a Delaware marriage certificate that Ancestry had digitized from our collection.

Did you know that Delaware residents can now use their Delaware Library Card to log in to the Delaware page on By using your card you can have free access ONLY to the records Ancestry has digitized for the Delaware Public Archives. These records include Births up to 1908, Marriages up to 1933, Deaths up to 1933, and Naturalizations from 1796-1850. Coming soon will be Land Records from 1677-1947, and Will Books from 1683-1947.  For more information view our instructions on the Digital Ancestry page on our website.

Tags: ,


The Storm of March 1962

Written on: March 2nd, 2012 in Research Room

Rehoboth damage March 1962

The Delaware Public Archives is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, a powerful Northeaster that affected the mid-Atlantic March 6th – 8th, with a virtual exhibit.

Among DPA’s holdings are many incredible historical documents, photographs and films that tell of tragedy and the perseverance of Delawareans to restore the state to its pre-storm condition. The mighty storm brought waves in excess of 40 feet that damaged property along Delaware’s Atlantic and Delaware Bay coasts. Post-storm aerial films  recoded by the State Police Commission survey the destruction of beaches, homes, businesses, roadways, and extensive inland flooding.

The Governor’s Papers Collection from 1962 includes telegram correspondence with President John F. Kennedy. In these documents, Governor Carvel describes the aftermath of the storm and requests that the President not only declare emergency status along the Delaware coast from Fenwick Island to Delaware City, but also 5 miles inland. Carvel estimates the cost of damage in Delaware to be $50 million (approximately $357 million today). Governor Carvel’s papers further detail the combined effort of local groups, government agencies and federal manpower in cleanup efforts through letters, financial documents and memos.

Photographs featured on the official Public Archives Facebook page  show the extreme damage of the storm in detail. Battered homes lifted off their foundations and precariously tipped toward washed out beaches. Images of the Rehoboth Boardwalk ripped apart; its planks piled up like toothpicks against the businesses that once lined the popular summer attraction. Additionally, newspaper articles and photographs in our collection further report on the aftermath with breaking news and before and after photos.

Explore one of the greatest storms ever to hit the mid-Atlantic from your computer and come in to see even more fantastic pieces of history here at the Delaware Public Archives.