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Collections Program

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (C.A.R.E) Team, the Collections Program preserves, and holds in public trust, a record of Delaware’s heritage by acquiring objects made in Delaware or used by Delawareans throughout history.

The division is responsible for the stewardship of a significant collection of historical materials owned by the state of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art, library and archival materials and oral histories which are utilized in developing exhibits and educational programs that illuminate the state’s historical and cultural legacies for the benefit of present and future generations.

The collections are featured prominently in division-sponsored exhibits at the state’s museums and historic sites. Due to the large number and fragility of some of the items, as well as the need for many of them to be kept in environmentally controlled conditions, it is impossible for all of the materials to be formally shown at one time. Locations where items from the collections are currently on display include:

  1. The five museums of the state of Delaware: John Dickinson Plantation, Johnson Victrola Museum, New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and Zwaanendael Museum
  2. Delaware Veterans Home and Delaware Public Archives
  3. Woodburn, the Governor’s House
  4. Buena Vista Conference Center

Inventory of the State Collections

The division is currently undertaking a comprehensive inventory of its historical and archaeological collections. As of July 1, 2016, the collections will be closed resulting in:

  1. No new outgoing and incoming loans and transfers
  2. Limited research activities involving the historical and archaeological collections
  3. Limited new donations to the state’s collections
  4. No new organizations added to the Affiliates Program

Once completed, the inventory process will provide new and innovative opportunities to showcase the state’s collections in online activities and future exhibitions. Following the inventory, the loan program to museums and historic sites will be reinstated and the collections re-opened for research.

Contact the C.A.R.E. Team for access and research related to the state’s collections at (302) 739-7787 or