Online Catalog Project wraps up at DHS

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two years since we launched our online catalog project here at the Delaware Historical Society. The project, which was supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provided funding for software, computer equipment, and, most importantly, the staff time needed to catalog the large number of unique items in our collections. Although we encountered a few small challenges along the way (as is bound to happen in any large-scale project), we are proud to say that we met our goal of cataloging at least 65% of the library’s collections.

What does this mean for me?

Most importantly, it means that you can access information about many of our collections from home through our online portal, Ask Caesar. The online catalog now contains over 32,000 keyword-searchable records, which should speed up your research process and help you to better plan your time if you are traveling from out-of-state or working on a large project. Of course, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to call or email us with a reference request – that’s one of the things we are here for! If you prefer to start your research at the library, we have two computers available for you to access the online catalog. Our computers can only be used to search the catalog, but you are also welcome to bring your own computer if you have more extensive online research to do.

What records can I find online right now?

  • All of our newspapers, magazines, and journals
  • All of our rare books and rare maps
  • All of our 17th, 18th, and early 19th-century manuscript collections
  • Many of our newer manuscript collections
  • Some of our photograph collections
  • Some of the books from our open stacks

We are sad that the project has come to an end, but very pleased with how much we were able to accomplish in just two years. And despite the fact that the project is officially over, our library curators will continue to add records to Ask Caesar on a regular basis – so keep checking back to see our progress!

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Our Catalogers: Natalie Baur, Heather Isbell Schumacher, Joelen Pastva, and Jennifer Matthews.

— Jennifer M.


2 thoughts on “Online Catalog Project wraps up at DHS

  1. Congrats! That sounds like a pretty epic achievement. I think you’ll all need some talk therapy or something to reprogram yourselves to life without this project always looming. Lol. Seriously, cudos for your hard work..so many generations will benefit…you deserve to be proud. And raises too !
    Kassie aka “Mom”

    1. Thank you Kassie! Yes, it’ll definitely take some time to reprogram, but it was a wonderful experience. Thanks so much for taking the time to keep up with our blog. More to come, I promise…!

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