The Delaware Historical Society was founded on May 31, 1864 for “the elucidation of history, particularly such portions as may refer to Delaware.” Renting a single room at the Wilmington Institute, the organization began collecting artifacts from the state’s early history as well as those related to the current events of the Civil War.
Over the next 150 years, the organization refined its stated purpose to reflect both a changing society and the evolution of the public history profession. The mission of the Delaware Historical Society today is to serve as the statewide, non-profit organization that preserves, explores, shares and promotes Delaware history, heritage and culture to strengthen our community. Today, the Society has in its collections more than 3 million objects, books, documents, photographs, and maps that tell the stories of our state.
At the Delaware Historical Society, we believe that everyone has a story to tell. We value rich and diverse historical collections that help us better understand the world around us. We believe in creating a dynamic institution that facilitates conversation and engages communities. We strive to bring you interesting stories from our collections and to tell you more about what we do here and how you can participate. We want YOU to be a part of our story. We’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment and reach out to us!