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  Archived Posts From: 2015


National Preparedness Month and You!

Written on: September 29th, 2015 in Blog PostsPhotographspreservationResearch Room

Katie Hall, reference archivist

Photo of Tornado Damage in Felton, 1967 State Highway Dept. Photo Collection (RG 1540.009)

Tornado Damage in Felton, 1967
State Highway Dept. Photo Collection
(RG 1540.009)

A tornado struck Felton in 1967 leaving behind this trail of damage. Disasters can strike quickly and without warning, rendering even the most prepared of us feeling helpless. September is National Preparedness Month and also falls in the middle of hurricane season, which is a great time for us on Delmarva to think about and prepare for what to do in case of an emergency.

FEMA has declared September 30 National PrepareAthon Day, a day devoted to readying citizens to respond to a disaster. If you need ideas on how to get started with creating an emergency plan, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a website full of useful tips for participating in the PrepareAthon and for creating your own emergency plan: If you’re looking for more Delaware-specific tips, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency also has tips on preparing for a disaster

September leads into October, which is Archives Month, when we celebrate all things archives-related. If you already have an emergency plan in place, then you can celebrate National PrepareAthon Day AND Archives Month by thinking about a plan to protect your valuable family records, heirlooms, and your genealogy research in case of an emergency. As I always like to say, memories don’t preserve themselves!

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Justice Randy J. Holland to speak on Magna Carta

Written on: September 28th, 2015 in Blog PostsEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

Delaware Supreme Court Justice Randy J. Holland will speak at the Delaware Public Archives on Wednesday evening, Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m., on the topic of the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta, the so-called Great Charter of 1215, which serves as the foundation for both the British and American systems of government. Justice Holland is the editor of the book, Magna Carta, Muse and Mentor, published in 2014 by the Library of Congress and Thomson Reuters to commemorate the anniversary. Among the book’s authors are Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and other eminent British and American jurists and legal scholars. As Justice Roberts noted in his foreword to the book, “Whether King John and the barons knew it or not, the events at Runnymede 800 years ago marked the commencement of a social transformation. Magna Carta laid a foundation for the ascent of liberty and the rule of law.” Justice Holland’s talk is the final event in a day of activities marking the 110th anniversary of the establishment of the Delaware Public Archives. Copies of Justice Holland’s book will be available for purchase at the event and he will sign copies for those wishing to have him do so.

Photo of Justice Randy Holland

Delaware Supreme Court
Justice Randy Holland

Randy J. Holland was first appointed to the Delaware Supreme Court in 1986 and was recently reappointed to an unprecedented third twelve-year term and is now Delaware’s longest-serving justice. He is the past National President of the American Inns of Court. Justice Holland was elected to be an Honorary Master of the Bench by Lincoln’s Inn Court in London. He has written, co-authored, or edited nine books: Delaware Corporation Law, Selected Cases (2011 Chinese (Taiwan) only); State Constitutional Law, the Modern Experience, co-author (West 2010); Middle Temple Lawyers and the American Revolution, co-author (Thomson-West 2007); Appellate Practice and Procedure, co-author (West 2005); The Delaware Constitution: A Reference Guide (Greenwood Press 2002); Delaware Supreme Court: Golden Anniversary (2001), co-editor; The Delaware Constitution of 1897 – The First One Hundred Years, co-editor; Delaware’s Destiny Determined by Lewes (2013), and Magna Carta, Muse & Mentor (2014) editor. He has also published several law review articles, primarily dealing with judicial ethics and legal history.The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail

The Delaware Public Archives is located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North in Dover. The Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room is open to the public Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. On the second Saturday of every month the research room is open from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

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The Life and Times of Ann Moore Ridgely

Written on: September 21st, 2015 in Blog PostsDelaware HistoryEvents at the ArchivesResearch Room

On Saturday, October 3 at 10:30 a.m., Dr. Susanne Fox will present a program at the Delaware Public Archives about Ann Moore Ridgely. A most unusual woman, Ridgely lived in Dover from 1775 until 1810 when she died. She was a wife, mother, estate manager, widow, and active member of the Dover community. Married to Dr. Charles Ridgely, her husband died in 1785, leaving her with five young children whom she reared by herself. To complement this program, the Delaware Public Archives will be displaying a set of documents related to Ann Moore Ridgely and the Ridgely family.

Dr. Susanne Fox recently retired from Wesley College where she taught U.S. History, American Culture, Irish History, and Travel Courses to Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium, and Spain for forty years. She holds an A. B. in History from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, an M.A. in History from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from the University of Delaware. Her dissertation “Gentry Family Dynamics: The Ridgelys of Kent County, Delaware, 1775-1810” was based on over 800 Ridgely family letters, and other Ridgely family papers and account books housed in the Delaware Public Archives.

The program is free to the public and will last approximately one hour. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Tom Summers (302) 744-5047 or e-mail

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