The mid 1970s proved to be a time of great interest in history, inspired in part by the bicentennial of the American Revolution. With the opening of the Research Library in the former Artisans Savings Bank building at 505 N. Market Street, the Delaware Historical Society was now able to take advantage of opportunities that arose. Some of the ventures of this era are still going strong today.
Chronologically, the first is the founding of the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware in 1974. The first Jews came to Delaware in the mid 1600s, but it wasn’t until 1879 that there were enough Jewish people in Wilmington to form an organized community. The Jewish Historical Society collects and preserves that community’s heritage. Collections have to live somewhere, and the Jewish Historical Society decided early on to place them at the Delaware Historical Society’s Research Library, where they cared for by the Jewish Historical Society’s archivist and available to researchers by arrangement with her.
The Jewish Historical Society of Delaware is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, and its collaboration with the Delaware Historical Society is almost as old. In addition to holding collections, the Jewish Historical Society presents programs, publishes a newsletter and books, and holds occasional exhibitions. For more information, visit http://jhsdelaware.org.