The Rockefeller Library is pleased to announce that a number of archival collections relating to the restoration of Williamsburg to its 18th-century appearance are now available for viewing via the library’s Omeka site. They include the Thomas Mott Shaw Pencil Sketches, the F.S. Lincoln Photography Collection, and the Singleton P. Moorehead Streetscapes Collection.
The repositories around the first state have been keeping busy all summer long and are looking forward to a great fall. Here are just a few of the happenings in Delaware.
In April, Winterthur Library became an affiliate of FamilySearch, one of the largest online resources for the study of history and genealogy. FamilySearch offers an electronic catalog of its resources that includes entries describing its microfilm holdings, the organization’s acknowledged strength. FamilySearch, and before it the Genealogical Society of Utah, has been active in microfilming since the 1930s, amassing a collection of two and one-half million rolls of film. With the resources of FamilySearch available at Winterthur, library users will have the opportunity to use FamilySearch microfilm onsite instead of having to travel to FamilySearch family history centers.
Library exhibitions include “From the Hobble Skirt to the Little Black Dress: Fashion Fads, Trends, and Innovations, 1910-1940,”running from August 5 to October 19, and “Is Your Future Bright or Black?” from October 21 to January 4, which focuses on fortune telling.
On July 15th Delaware Public Archives Director and State Archivist Stephen Marz presented “Treasures of the Delaware Public Archives” at the National Association of Secretaries of State’s summer conference in Baltimore. The session, “Docs That Rock: A Closer Look at Storytelling and Public Outreach with State Archives Treasures,” explored how state archives are using their holdings to promote the history and heritage of their states. Mr. Marz presented some of DPA’s most treasured holdings, including the Royal Charter and Ratification Document, and described how DPA uses its collections to promote events and anniversaries at the state and national level. “Using primary source material to offer historic context to events is a great way to market the resources of your state. It also offers a fresh take on yearly events,” said Mr. Marz. “Promote your present by discovering your past.”
While the major historic documents in DPA’s holdings are often identified as the most important, Mr. Marz described what he calls the “Oh My God” moment that researchers experience when they discover something new. These instances of discovery are usually born from collections that aren’t explicitly dynamic like vital statistics, newspapers and deed records. “What we often identify as a ‘treasure’ might not be the most valuable document to researchers. Their values, interests and research dictate what a treasure is, and we have to celebrate those everyday moments of discovery,” said Mr. Marz.
Mr. Marz described how DPA is using social media to reach patrons beyond its physical walls and emphasized the importance of cultivating interest in younger generations of researchers by engaging them where they spend time online. Mr. Marz shared the stage with the Hon. Secretaries of State from Rhode Island and Tennessee and the session was moderated by the Hon. Tom Schedler, Secretary of State, Louisiana.