Old buildings are money pits. Really old and important buildings, like Old Town Hall and the Read House, are huge money pits. Both buildings, treasured by the Society and the community alike, received major maintenance this year, including masonry repairs, repairs and repainting of windows and exterior woodwork, removal of the 1938 addition on Old Town Hall, and reworking all of the Read House’s windows. These repairs aren’t showy, but are necessary to keep these architectural gems stable and safe for years to come.
New technology can be a money pit, too. At the same time as the Read House and Old Town Hall were receiving needed maintenance, the Research Library was busy developing its online catalog, a necessity today. After several years of development, Ask Caesar went live on July 1 with 4,500 entries, a small fraction of the library’s holdings. Since then, the catalog has grown to about 35,000 entries from both library and museum collections, thanks to the grant-funded Online Catalog Project and continuing work by Collections and Access staff. Ask Caesar allows people worldwide to see the treasures that we have. To take a peek at the Society’s holdings, visit http://www.dehistory.org/research-collections/collections-Caesar.
All of this work was possible only with the support of grants from a variety of public and private sources. Like so many other organizations that enrich our community, the Delaware Historical Society depends on the generosity of civic-minded people to achieve its goals.