On April 16, 2013, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs released "Preserving Our Past for a Better Future: Delaware's Historic Preservation Plan, 2013–2017." The plan provides all Delawareans who are passionate about historic preservation with a framework for effective decision-making, for coordinating statewide preservation activities and for communicating statewide preservation policy, goals and values to the preservation constituency, decision-makers and interested parties across the state.

As a requirement for receiving Delaware's annual portion of the federal Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, the division is responsible for coordinating the preparation and development of a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan and for updating it at regular intervals. Begun in the winter of 2012, the current plan was written by members of the division's State Historic Preservation Office with extensive input from a committee comprising government and private non-profit preservation professionals and state and local government planners. Additional review, comment and final approval of the plan were supplied by the Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation which has for many years provided expert guidance and perspective on Delaware's historic preservation needs.

In a letter approving the plan, the National Park Service noted, "Historic resource needs identified in the plan are well grounded in public input and professional analysis. Achievable preservation goals are presented in a way that encourages action by a variety of interests groups across the state. We find 'Preserving our Past for a Better Future' to be an excellent statewide plan."

Go to the following to read the full plan: "Preserving Our Past for a Better Future: Delaware's Historic Preservation Plan, 2013–2017." Printed copies are available on request.

The Delaware State Historic Preservation Office has recently released a report on some of the most significant accomplishments that it has achieved during the past year. A unit of the state's Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the office administers a broad range of federal and state programs that identify, register and help to preserve Delaware's historic places and unique cultural identity.

Go to the following to read the report.

Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman will be featured in a theatrical presentation at the Old State House on May 4 as part of the Dover Days festival.

During the month of May 2013, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 12 special programs at the six museums that it operates across the state.

Highlights of the month include Saturday, May 4 activities held in conjunction with the 80th Annual Dover Days festival including a theatrical presentation honoring the noted Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman at the Old State House, and a Johnson Victrola Museum program on Nipper, the mixed fox/bull terrier whose image in the Victor Talking Machine Company's "His Master's Voice" logo became one of America's oldest trademarks.

Activities held in celebration of Delaware Archaeology Month include the sixth annual symposium on the early colonial archaeology of the Delaware Valley at the New Castle Court House Museum on May 4 and maritime archaeology programs at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes on May 25.

On May 18, Herb Day at the John Dickinson Plantation will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about 18th-century uses for herbs while creating a sachet to take home.

Go to the following for a complete listing of events.

Detail from a 1654–1655 map of New Sweden by Royal Swedish Engineer Peter Lindström. The detail depicts the mouth of the Delaware Bay.

On Saturday, May 4, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Archaeological Society of Delaware, will present "The Early Colonial Delaware Valley—An Archaeological Symposium." Now in its sixth year, the symposium is dedicated to building a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the cultures that existed in the Delaware Valley during the early period of European colonization.

The symposium will take place at the New Castle Court House Museum located at 211 Delaware St. in New Castle, Del. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, contact Craig Lukezic at craig.lukezic@state.de.us or call 302-736-7407.

Go to the following for a complete symposium schedule.

Sacred Heart Oratory

On March 20, 2013, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia announced that the Sacred Heart Oratory bell tower in Wilmington had been named as one of the recipients of its 2013 Preservation Achievement Awards. Located at 917 N. Madison St., the Sacred Heart Oratory is a former Roman Catholic parish church completed in 1875 for the city's German-immigrant community. After celebrating its last Mass in 1996, the Capuchin friars who founded the Ministry of Caring purchased the city block that houses the church, rectory and school, transforming it into Sacred Heart Village, a 78-unit affordable housing complex for senior citizens. The restoration of the bell tower was completed in 2013.

Go to the following for additional information on Sacred Heart Oratory and its rehabilitated bell tower:

Project Honored For Preservation, Bringing City Community Together
By Carolyn Roland

Change of 'Heart': Sacred Heart Oratory gets makeover
The Dialog, Wilmington, DE—June 19, 2003