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  Archived Posts From: 2013


Hurricane Season is Here!

Written on: October 29th, 2013 in Blog PostsPhotographspreservationRecords Management

Photo of Women Recovering Wet Records

Wet Records Recovery

As we enter the hurricane and severe storm season, the Delaware Public Archives strongly encourages agencies to evaluate the storage environment of their records.

During your assessment and planning, please consider the following:
• Damage from leaking roofs
• Exposed windows and doors
• Damage from flooding due to improper drainage, cracked foundations and high water levels outside the facility

While the records maintained on electronic data systems may be backed-up by DTI or a vendor contract, many agencies still actively use and retain hard copy records. The loss of Vital records may greatly compromise the agencies’ operations; therefore, the DPA highly recommends for agencies to move high-risk/vital records to a safe area. At a minimum, please remove as many boxes as possible from the floor, especially if your agency/section is located in an area that is prone to flooding.

Please remember that the first 24 to 48 hours after a disaster are the most critical for safeguarding any information. For instance, records that become damp can quickly develop mold, and, if left untreated, the records will likely become unsalvageable.

The staff at Delaware Public Archives can provide expert advice, vendor contacts, and at times, manpower to assist agencies with their disaster recovery efforts. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact your assigned analyst or use our general line (302) 744-5000.

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What’s the Story with Delaware License Plates?

Written on: October 21st, 2013 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

Although citizens in other states may view the registration tags on their cars as a government requirement, Delawareans have embraced their license plates as a status symbol and a connection to their past. On Saturday, November 2 at 10:30 a.m., Mike Williams, Chief of Administrative Policy & Communications for the Division of Motor Vehicles at the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), will present a special program at the Delaware Public Archives about the history of Delaware license plates and why they are so interesting to the citizens of the First State.  While a driver may not think twice about the significance of their tag number, native Delaware drivers barter, buy, and sell to get a favorite number for themselves.

In exploring this unique part of First State culture – the program will include such topics as the desirable black & white porcelain sets from the 1940s, the black stainless steel tags from the 1950s, and the story behind the controversial font-style changes in the early 1990s. 

Mr. Williams, a native of the First State, is a graduate of the University of Delaware and has worked for the state since 1995.  He began his state career as a Community Relations Officer with the Office of Highway Safety, before moving to DelDOT in 1997 as primary media spokesperson.  After serving as Manager of the DelDOT Public Relations Office for six years, he joined the staff of the DMV as Chief of Communications in 2012.

Mr. Williams’ interest in license plates was fostered as a teenager by his grandfather.  As with most collectors, he always had the “bug” for collecting, beginning with baseball cards, coins and comic books as a youth.  Mr. Williams was instrumental in the design and development of Delaware’s Centennial Plate Program that was recognized as the “Best Plate of 2009” by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association (ALPCA).

The License Plates program is free to the public.  No reservations are required.  For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail

Photo of Mike Williams

Mike Williams

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Happy Archives Month!

Written on: October 2nd, 2013 in Delaware HistoryResearch Room

During October the Delaware Public Archives celebrates American Archives Month.

This Archive is one of the oldest public archives in the nation; beginning in 1905!   From handwritten notes and documents to the latest digital imagines of many of our holdings and collections, we have over 10.4 million documents and over 800,000 photographs that are yours for the looking!  And a staff of professionals to help you in any way!   Come visit us at the Archives and talk to an Archivist and let us lead you to Delaware’s public recorded history!


Stephen Marz, CA State Archivist

Photo of Archives Month Proclamation signed by Governor Jack Markell, 2013

Archives Month Proclamation signed by Governor Jack Markell, 2013

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