Delaware Archives, Libraries, and Societies

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG, in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Delaware sil.png
the Delaware Family History Research series.
History of Delaware
Delaware Vital Records
Census Records for Delaware
Background Sources for Delaware
Delaware Maps
Delaware Land Records
Delaware Probate Records
Delaware Court Records
Delaware Tax Records
Delaware Cemetery Records
Delaware Church Records
Delaware Military Records
Delaware Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Delaware Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Delaware Immigration
Delaware Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Delaware
Delaware County Resources
Delaware Special Interests
Map of Delaware

Delaware Public Archives

121 Duke of York St.
Dover, DE 19901

The Delaware Public Archives is the central repository for noncurrent state as well as county and municipal records. It also has a large collection of private records, including family Bible records and papers, church and cemetery records, and federal censuses. Its holdings are enhanced by maps, still and motion pictures, and sound recordings, as well as a growing collection of online images of records, such as Civil War records, coroner’s inquests, genealogical collections, maps, naturalizations, Orphans’ Court files, photographs, and slavery papers. Microfilms of early New York and Pennsylvania material pertaining to what is now Delaware have also been acquired. The Preliminary Inventory of the Holdings of the Delaware State Archives, compiled by Joanne Mattern (Dover, Del.: Delaware State Archives, 1978), evolved into the “Guide to Collections” on the archives’ website.

The Historical Society of Delaware

505 Market St.
Wilmington, DE 19801

Founded in 1864, the Historical Society of Delaware has much manuscript material including church, military, and family Bible records; transcribed gravemarker inscriptions; business and medical records; diaries and journals; and microfilms (with published indexes) of Delaware censuses and many Delaware Public Archives records. The society has a name file for items in newspapers and books, and the Delaware DAR’s collection of Bible records. See Dale Fields, “Genealogical Source Material in the Historical Society of Delaware,” The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine 28 (1973): 86-93. Some of the society’s material has been published in their journal, Delaware History. For a small fee, a search of basic materials can be requested by mail.

Delaware Genealogical Society

505 Market St. Mall
Wilmington, DE 19801-3091

While it does not maintain a library, the Delaware Genealogical Society publishes the very useful Delaware Genealogical Society Journal and books of Delaware interest.