Friday, October 31, 2014

A 9-Month Update

It is nine months into the grant, which marks the end of the first Archival Fellowship. Much has been accomplished since February! Here are just a few bullet points:

  •  The Archives has taken the first steps to getting its collection descriptions online and up to professional standards.
  •  Many collections have been described and preserved – including a collection of over 20,000 photographs!
  •  Our digitized collection has exploded! You can check out a near-complete run of our collection of The Echo here. Over 100 issues were digitized this month alone. That’s over 1000 pages! Access them anywhere and download them as PDFs. Some are even full-text searchable!

Processed collections, October 2014
The Archives remains committed to making the history of Delaware State University accessible to all interested parties. Going forward, we aim to serve this goal even further by re-evaluating our digitization priorities, incorporating collections into the library catalog, and designing a more interactive guide to the history of the campus. With that, the first Archival Fellow bids DSU adieu!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Homecoming Week at DSU

Homecoming 1971, Office of Public Relations Photographs
The Archives is excited for Homecoming Week here at DSU! The week will include concerts, alumni activities, the annual parade, and a football game against North Carolina A&T. You can find the full schedule here.

What better time to show off some photos of the Homecoming parade from days gone by? Here are just a few from our collection of photographs from the Office of Public Relations. There’s nothing like reflecting on old traditions to bolster your school spirit!

Homecoming 1998, Office of Public Relations Photographs

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Creation of the Black Studies Program

During the spring of 1968, students protested dormitory conditions and regulations. The unrest reached its height in May when students occupied Grossley Hall, prompting the governor to dispatch the National Guard.

Black Majestic Society editorial, The Hornet, October 10, 1969
Among the most organized of the activists was the Black Majestic Society, who demanded the creation of a Black Studies Program. Their October 10, 1969, editorial in The Hornet, pictured here, represents their displeasure with the college, to put it mildly. 

By the 1970-1971 academic year, the Black Studies Program was approved as a multidisciplinary concentration that called upon a variety of fields in the humanities. You can read the Black Studies Planning Committee proposal here, as part of our digitized collection.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Farewell from Leigh-Anne

My time here at DSU is done, and I am very sad to see it end. The work I was able to do was meaningful and exciting. I had access to items of historical significance that many people do not know existed, such as the course catalogs from 1899-1911 when the University was still called the State College for Colored Students. A lot of the material I processed showed the development of the University, as well as the changes in the departments and course offerings. I have to say one of my favorites was when I helped a researcher find material about student activities and influence that led to the addition of the Black Studies Program.

My confidence increased with the practice provided in the archives, which was the purpose of this post-graduate internship for me. Much of what I learned in school was under the direction of a teacher. However, nothing beats working in the field to learn how an activity can be the same but bring up a different set of questions each day. I was able to clarify my career goals. I not only learned that I can process archival records as quickly as I can catalog books (I interned in a corporate library and spent time in a public library while a MSLS student), I also learned that I enjoy spending time interacting with researchers and people from other University departments who want to learn more about what we have and do at the University Archives.

I wish the University were closer to my home. The two hour drive so early in the morning was very hard, but I never had a day where I woke up and wished I did not have to come in to work. The traffic was always minimal (it was, after all, the summer), the weather was just right, there appears to be no bad parking on campus, and the people are all really nice.

Speaking of the people, the employees at DSU are fantastic! They always had a smile for me. It felt good to be asked how I was doing, and to know the person asking really wanted to know. It did not take long before I was being included in conversations in the staff lunchroom and elsewhere in the library. It is my strongest hope that the people here in the William C. Jason Library remember me like I will them.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work at DSU, and be a part of building the University Archives. I look forward to watching the digital collection grow, and reading future blog posts to learn who else has come on board and where I might be able to meet up with them to compare notes about the collection material.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Digitization update

Written by: Emily Cottle

Since beginning our digitization work in January 2014, we are excited to report that we have grown our collection from our initial five items to over one hundred!

Items available include all issues from The Echo dating 1909-1912, items from our photograph collection, and inauguration programs from some of our presidents.

You can browse our available items here.
Click to browse digitized items.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My favorite things, part III

Written by: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

This week's post features the last in our series documenting the favorite or most interesting finds of the Archives' staff.

At the same time HBO aired its movie, The Normal Heart, I came across Executive Order No. 83, issued by Delaware Governor Michael N. Castle, while processing employment materials for staff and faculty in the Delaware State archives. This executive order addressed the need to establish a policy on AIDS in the workplace.

The 1980’s saw the emergence of what some have termed a world-wide pandemic. Although cases of HIV and AIDS were unknowingly reported decades before, the widespread publicity in the 1980’s regarding the spread infection alarmed everyone, and the alarm was validated by governments around the world. It did not end in the 1980’s. As recent as 2001, the CDC reported, “In the early 1980s, most AIDS cases occurred among whites. However, cases among blacks increased steadily and by 1996, more cases occurred among blacks than any other racial/ethnic population.”(1)

HBO’s movie showed us that the HIV/AIDS epidemic should not be forgotten. The purpose of Executive Order No. 83 was to prevent discrimination in light of the fear and ignorance that surrounded HIV/AIDS. Delaware State clearly supported this, and distributed the order to all of its staff and faculty.

Protecting the rights of current and potential workers was a step forward. Making sure historical material is cared for, such as policies and stories about this matter as they relate to Delaware State University, is an important task for those of us in the University Archives. Stop in and see how we do this!

(1) “HIV and AIDS --- United States, 1981--2000". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 8, 2001. [accessed June 20, 2014].

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My favorite things, part II

Written by: Cale McCammon

Welcome to part II in our favorite things series. If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s post here. My favorite items in the Archives are those that illuminate things that you walk by on a daily basis, especially things that concern university buildings.

Have you ever wondered about the mural around the William C. Jason Library’s entrance? Our collection of administrative records from the Library may provide some insight. These records date from the early 1970s to the present day and include staff meetings, publications, reports, and correspondence that provide information on the Library’s expansion.

William C. Jason Library entrance, November 1988

Completed in the late 1970s by alumnus Bernard Felch, the mural incorporates traditional African symbols, which ultimately speak to the Library’s place as the center of learning. That’s putting it in lay terms, however. These scanned pages of the records contain the words of the artist himself and speak more truly to what the symbols represent. So the next time you’re on campus and wonder what’s the deal with so-and-so, we just might be able to help you out.

The following document entitled Symbolism in the Wall for the Jason Library at Delaware State College is included in the William C. Jason Library Records available at the Archives. 

Be sure to check back next week for Leigh-Anne’s favorite item!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My favorite things, part I

Click to see available digitized newspapers.
Written by: Emily Cottle

This week’s post is the first in a three part series entitled my favorite things. Each week we will feature a staff member of the University Archives who will share their favorite collection items.

The collections at the University Archives contain so many wonderful items that trying to pick a single favorite is almost impossible! I’d say the group of items that I find most intriguing and historically valuable are the issues of the school newspaper.

I think school papers are interesting because they give a first-hand account of what’s happening at an institution at a particular time. You can tell what issues students were facing or learn about controversies that were happening on campus. There is also important basic information like when campus events, such as Homecoming, Commencement, Founders day, were held and accounts of who was there or what happened.

In addition to news articles providing these primary source accounts, you get to see advertisements, photographs, how formats or layout styles changed, and other contextual clues that provide so much information beyond the simple text of an article.

Our collection of school papers begins in 1909 with issues of The Echo, as the school paper was known then. (Note: Our complete collection of The Echo from 1909-1912 has been digitized and is available online.) Our run picks up with The Hornet in 1950 and continues through to 2014. Come visit the Archives to browse some of these newspapers yourself.

Come back next week to learn about Cale McCammon’s favorite item!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

DSU Resources available at Delaware Public Archives

This week’s blog post follows up on some information provided in a recent post about the materials held by the Delaware Public Archives (DPA) that pertain to Delaware State. The following list describes materials held by DPA that relate to Delaware State University.

Photograph Collections

Delaware Economic Development Office (RG 1306.029):
Photographs taken for state Development Office promotional activities, especially for promotional publications.

Delaware State News photographs (RG 9210.013.011):
Photographs taken by staff photographers for use in the Delaware State News.

General Photograph Collection (RG 1325.003.036):
The General Collection is primarily the result of small donations by individuals or organizations. Because of the nature of the collection, a wide range of subjects and time periods are represented. Major subjects include business and industry, churches, city and town scenes, state and local government leaders and activities, houses, local events, portraits, public buildings, recreation, schools, and various types of transportation.

Insurance Evaluation Reports (RG 1305.005):
Inspection and survey of insurance coverage from the Insurance Company of North America on the property supervised by the Board of Trustees of the Permanent Budget Commission. The reports show the findings of inspection and survey of properties monitored by the board. Included in the information is a fire rate analysis, fire prevention recommendations, estimated insurable value of buildings, current policy and form analysis, extended coverage endorsement, contents coverage, and suggested changes to existing policy. Reports have been digitized and are available on the Delaware Heritage Collection.

Project Delaware (RG 9015.000):
A series of aerial view slides documenting the coastal areas of the state in 1970. Includes some interior parts of the state, especially waterways. Images have been digitized and are available on the Delaware Heritage Collection.

Other Collections

Attorney General’s General Administrative Files (RG 1560.023):
Subject files maintained by the Attorney General concerning activities of the office throughout Delaware. Attorney General David Buckson’s files contain two folders relating to the denial of service to Delaware State College and University of Delaware Students at Dover’s Hollywood Diner in 1962.

Board of Trustees of Delaware State College (RG 8300.000):
Proceedings of the Investigation of Howard D. Gregg, President of Delaware State College in 1947. Records are confidential.

Construction Documents (RG 1340.002.049):
Construction specifications and architectural drawings relating to projects overseen by the Delaware Division of Facilities Management. Records are confidential and require advance notice for access.

Delaware State College Building Specifications (RG 8300.002):
Building specifications for gym, girls dormitory, and pasteurization plant. Records are confidential and require advance notice for access.

Educational Directories:
Published by the Department of Public Instruction/Department of Education, the educational directories list all of the school districts and institutions of higher learning in the state. Educational directories also list names of administrators and educators at the various schools and institutions.

Enrolled Bills:
Original bills passed by both houses of the Legislature between 1776 and 1959. Entries show the General Assembly session number, bill number, title of bill, signatures of Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, bill clerks of House and Senate, Clerk of the House, Secretary of the Senate, and Governor, plus time and date of Governor's approval. Governor's signature was not part of final bill until 1898. Each bill also includes all amendments and resolutions. Enrolled bills can be searched by keyword through DPA’s online Collection Gateway.

George Vapaa Papers (RG 9200.V03.001):
A part of the Small Manuscripts Collection, the Vapaa Papers consist of typed transcriptions of interviews conducted by George Vapaa, a former Kent County Agricultural Agent. One of the interviews in the collection was conducted with Dr. Willie G. Adams from the Delaware State College and Extension Service. Interviews generally discussed subjects’ life and family before moving to Delaware and their careers in the state.

Governor’s Papers (RG 1302.007):
The records consist of proclamations, oaths of office, official’s bonds, commissions, extradition requests, appointments, resignations, correspondence, reports, accounts, pardons, and other general inquiries. Records are arranged chronologically by governor and thereunder by subject.

Governors Bacon, Carvel, Boggs, Terry, Peterson, Tribbitt, Castle, and Minner all have files relating to Delaware State College/University.

Newspaper Clippings (RG 1325.003.008):
A convenience collection of Delaware newspaper clippings concerning people and topics of historical interest created for research room and staff use.

A special thanks to Reference Archivist Katie Hall of Delaware Public Archives for assembling this helpful information for us!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

11th Anniversary of name change to Delaware State University

Click here to view more about this photo.
Written by: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

Today’s post celebrates the 11th anniversary of the day that Governor Thomas Carper signed the name change from Delaware State College (DSC) to Delaware State University (DSU) into law. This important event stemmed from a unanimous vote made on September 10, 1992 by the DSC Board of Trustees to conduct a study on the merits of changing the institution’s name. By May 13, 1993, they agreed it was a wanted change, and authorized the DSC’s president to send a formal request for name change to the General Assembly. 
Visit the Archives to read this report.

Why is it so important? After all, the size of the institution does not tip the scale from a college to a university. By 1991, different states developed different rationales for changing the name of an institution from college to university. Some states insisted the school be able to provide doctoral degrees, while others had to offer a minimum number of graduate degrees, or a minimum number of students enrolled in degrees not designed to produce teachers.

The designation of “university” resonates as a solid, worthy institution. For instance, institutions carrying that designation are more likely to gain notice over those simply labeled “college” when donors are deciding on where to contribute their money. For DSC, a name change would bring it on par with many of its peer institutions. The Board of Trustees noted in a background paper supporting the name change (written for the Governor and members of the Delaware General Assembly) that, of the 17 historically black land-grant institutions, only DSC and Fort Valley State College (in Georgia) are not designated as “university.”

If you want to learn more, come visit the archives or check out our past posts on DSU history.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Delaware State University at the Delaware Public Archives

Screen capture of some DPA materials on the
Delaware Heritage Collection.
Written by: Cale McCammon

The DSU Archives isn’t the only repository with materials relating to the history of the university. We maintain a working relationship with the Delaware Public Archives (DPA) and often refer researchers if we don’t have what they’re looking for.

If you need information on DSU’s buildings, you may not even have to drive the few miles down the road to DPA as they’ve digitized appraisals of various buildings around campus, as well as some photographs.

DPA has many other materials relating to DSU that intersect with records of the Delaware state government. Their website and contact information can be found here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Treasure: Portrait of Mrs. William C. Jason

Mrs. William C. Jason, ca. 1911(?).
Written by: Emily Cottle

As we highlighted in a post back in March, the Archives received a large transfer from the Office of Alumni Relations that included, among other things, large quantities of photos.

During processing, we discovered the portrait, included here, of Mrs. William C. Jason, the wife of the second president and the library’s namesake, Dr. William C. Jason. It appears to have come from the photograph collection of Charles C. Showell and be from around 1911.

We have very little information about Mrs. Jason in our collection, but this beautiful portrait is certainly a treasure that we wanted to share with our readers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Course Catalogs

Written by: Cale McCammon

Cover of the 1947-48 catalog.
While a selection of recent course catalogs is now available online, the Archives has a run of the course catalog from 1947 to 2006. In addition to containing descriptions of courses, which may be useful if you ever need to provide proof of what you learned at DSU, the catalogs also provide comprehensive trivia about the university across many academic years. This information includes descriptions of the physical plant, the rate of tuition, the academic structure of the university, and the curricula of each discipline. The early catalogs even outline some of the university’s policies on student life which really demonstrate how times have changed. Here are some regulations from the 1947-1948 catalog:
  • “The College encourages simple and inexpensive dressing for all students. They are expected to wear warm, comfortable clothing, and to refrain from the use of wearing apparel that will endanger their health or that is inappropriate.”
  • “No young lady may receive ‘off campus’ men friends without the approval of the Matron or Adviser to Women.”
  • “Any student who marries while enrolled in this College without first receiving permission from the president may be asked to withdraw.”
Whether you need to reassure someone about that course you took years ago or whether you want to be reminded that student life has in many ways gotten easier, you are sure to find what you need in our collection of catalogs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Staff profile: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

Written by: Leigh-Anne Yacovelli

Leigh-Anne processing materials from the Office of Public
Relations collection.
My name is Leigh-Anne Yacovelli, and I am very excited to begin my short time here at the Delaware State University Archives and Special Collections. As a recent graduate, my experience working in an archives has been limited. In addition to what you can read in my bio, I was also asked to answer a few more questions. Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section below.

DSU Archives: How did you decide you wanted to work with archives and special collections?
Leigh-Anne: I learned the value of online access to collections while an undergrad at APU. The history teachers required the use of primary sources for every paper, which was extremely difficult since so little had been digitized and made available on the Internet. I came to realize that in every town there is a relatively unknown collection (or two or three!) tucked away in all sorts of places, from volunteer-run historical societies to universities such as DSU. I felt a library science degree could teach me how to improve visibility of, and access to, these collections, so that others can enjoy and learn from them.

DSU Archives: What excites you the most about working at Delaware State University?
Leigh-Anne: I get really excited when I think about the opportunity I have to dig through the history of the university and add material to the Delaware Heritage Collection. This is a chance to find and showcase items that feature DSU, both the institution and its people’s contributions to national, state, and local events.

DSU Archives: What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?
Leigh-Anne: I like working with photographs and documents equally. There are things that can be said about both that show how difficult it is to pick one over the other. You see, photographs provide visual clues to not just the people, but also their surroundings. They freeze images for future generations to see things ranging from clothing and hairstyles to room furnishings, all within the context they appeared. Since most photographs are not arranged like paintings, where clues to people’s personalities, hobbies, and lines of business are deliberately included in the image, historical documents can provide this missing information, as well as other bits of valuable information like facts and figures of events (and even the names of the people in the photos!), to help researchers learn more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Promoting the Archives

Written by: Emily R. Cottle

In addition to promoting the Archives to our fine blog readers, during this past spring, I also attended two conferences to get the word out about our young repository. 

At the end of April, I presented as part of a panel at the Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) spring meeting in Rochester, NY featuring individuals charged as the first professional archivists in their institution’s history. This session focused on the challenges of building an archive from scratch and the ongoing challenges that young repositories face.
Poster from the MLA/DLA conference.

In May, I presented a poster at the joint conference of the Maryland and Delaware Library Associations in Ocean City, MD. Here the focus was on the ways that the Archives has had to work to fit into the existing library structure and highlighting some of the similarities and differences between the Archives and the rest of the library. 

It’s always fun to get out and talk about our repository and spread the word about all the exciting work we’re doing here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fashion Tips from The Hornet

From The Hornet, May 29, 1955.
Written by: Cale McCammon

With the cold weather finally letting up and commencement celebrations underway, it’s time to consider what you should be wearing if you want to be fashionable this summer. The May 29, 1955, issue of The Hornet suggests a “dainty off-the-shoulders blouse with the pin pleated skirt.” For colors, consider the following: “blue sky, sun white, sandalwood red, avocado, sun pink, butterpale, shrimp, pinkviolet, tangerine, shell p[i]nk, goldenrod, and mauve.”

Our collection of The Hornet extends from 1950 to the present. You can find many recurring columns like this one which offer interesting glimpses into student life back in the day, and you might even walk away from them with a better fashion sense.

Come visit the Archives to browse past issues of The Hornet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Campus events: Commencement

Written by: Emily Cottle

A few sample commencement programs available in the Archives.
This past Sunday, Delaware State University held its spring commencement ceremony. The keynote speaker was Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., prominent legal theorist, civil rights attorney, mentor to President Barack Obama and author. Photos taken at the event are available here.

As we celebrate this newest class of DSU alumni, it can be fun to look back down memory lane at commencements past. The University Archives holds collections of commencement programs, containing lists of graduates and speakers. We also have a wonderful photograph collection documenting these important campus events. A sampling of these photos are available online at the Delaware Heritage Collection, but come visit the archives in person to see the many more that we have available.

Congratulations to all the 2014 graduates from the University Archives!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

History: The Delaware State Ceremonial Mace

Written by: Emily Cottle 

 Introduced during the tenure of Delaware State’s seventh president, Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, the ceremonial mace was designed to be a “permanent emblem of the authority of the Office of the President and will be used at commencement exercises and at other College affairs of special significance.”

Pages from a pamphlet housed in the Archives giving
information on the history of DSU's ceremonial mace.
The preceding quote was taken from a publication on the ceremonial mace, the cover of which is pictured here. It described how the mace was designed and constructed by Mr. John McCollough, an assistant professor of Art Education at Delaware State College, in spring 1963. It is constructed with sterling silver alongside ebony from Africa, rosewood from Africa and India, lace wood from Australia, mahogany from the Philippines, pear wood from Switzerland, lignum vitae from South America, and walnut wood from North America. Its symbolism is derived from the incorporation of silver with the wood from different continents.

The mace is 48 inches long and weighs over 6 pounds.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Yearbooks Now Housed in the Archives

Written by: Cale McCammon

The yearbooks in their new home.
The DSU yearbooks have been moved from the Delaware Room to the Archives (Room 227) so that they can be kept in perpetuity along with all the other materials that are central to the university’s history. But don’t worry, this won’t impact their accessibility. Extra copies will be on reserve at the circulation desk, and the archival collection will be available from 8am to 5pm. 

The collection runs from 1960 to 2007, so feel free to check out faculty and student fashion trends or what Mom and Dad looked like in their glory days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Special Collections: Children’s Museum News

Written by: Emily Cottle

Just a few sample issues of Children’s Museum News.
Though the focus of this blog and our IMLS project is on the university archives and documenting the history of Delaware State University, our special collections do contain some unique items outside of this scope.
One of these items is a run of 55 newsletters dating from 1912-1940 called the Children’s Museum News published by the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences.

These newsletters include information about the museum itself, such as hours, admission, and schedules of events or lectures. There are also articles in each issue on a wide array of topics, but animals are a frequent subject.

A complete inventory of available issues can be found here.

Our complete run is available to use in the archives, so please come visit us if you’d like to see them. More information on our location and hours can be found here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Collection Spotlight: Miss DSC/DSU Photographs

 Written by: Cale McCammon

Miss DSC attendant and her escort, 1979.
It’s that time of the year when DSU students gear up for the annual Miss DSU elections. While Miss DSU hopefuls set up promotional campaign signs around campus, we here at the archives take a look to the past at our collection of Miss Delaware State College/Delaware State University photographs. Our collection dates back to the late 1950s. The photographs demonstrate one of DSU’s many unique traditions honoring student leadership, but they also say quite a bit about the changing themes and fashion of the ceremony.

Contestants at the Miss DSC pageant, March 20, 1980.
From bellbottom pants to traditional formal wear, the Miss DSU tradition has not gone out of style. 

We send our congratulations to the newly elected Mr. and Ms. DSU, James Jones and Jamila Mustafa, and the rest of the Royal Court! Complete election results and a slideshow are available here

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Honors Day

Written by: Emily Cottle

Last week on April 3, 2014 Delaware State University held its 41st annual Honors Day program.
The archives have a collection of programs dating back to the third annual honors day program held April 27-28, 1976.
President Luna I. Mishoe speaking at Honors 
Day festivities on April 13, 1983.

The following note from the Honors Council, the sponsors of Honors Day, appears in the aforementioned program from the 1976 event:

Honors Day was established two years ago as an annual event in recognition of academic achievement. In a format which enables students to present original research papers and exhibits, academic excellence at Delaware State College is made visible to all students and faculty. Through lectures or panel discussions the meaning and value of the pursuit of excellence is stressed. In addition, departmental scholars, students in the Honors programs, and students achieving membership in national honor societies are recognized.

Some of the programs from the 1990s even include summaries of student papers and projects.

In addition to these event programs, we have a number of photos documenting honors day activities dating back to the 1980s.

Come visit the archives to view any of these materials and learn more about the history of the Honors Day program.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Middle States Accreditation Self-Study Reports: A History of Self-Reflection

Written by: Cale McCammon

Cover of the 1971-1972 report.
One of the collections that offer a dense look at DSU’s organizational and academic history is our collection of Middle States accreditation self-study reports, which date back to the 1971-1972 academic year. These reports contain information on the university’s organizational structure, philosophy, student body, employment of alumni and finances. For anyone looking for statistical information regarding specific departments or for information on how the university has changed overtime, the reports serve as a convenient aggregation of the information found in some of our other collections. They also demonstrate changes in how the university has seen itself, as in the self-study report for the 1971-1972 academic years:
Delaware State College is a group of scholars actively seeking the truth, creatively teaching the truth, and carefully preserving the truth. The College claims the right, without restraint, to investigate the whole province of knowledge. With this freedom, the College accepts the responsibility of communicating knowledge to all who can make good use of it. (p. 2)

How might this connect to the university’s current mission and vision statement?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Acquisition: President Jason’s book

Written by: Emily Cottle

Back on December 19th of last year, the William C. Jason Library held a ceremony to formally accept a generous endowment to the library from Bertha Carol Jason and William C. Jason, III., descendants of the library’s namesake, William C. Jason, Sr.

During the ceremony, Carol Jason, shown below in the screen capture of a press release on the event from the university’s website, told wonderful stories about William C. Jason, the longest serving president in DSU’s history from a family volume containing old course catalogs for the State College for Colored Students dating back to 1893.

Screen capture from DSU's News and Events webpage.
In January, the archives was fortunate enough to have Mrs. Jason officially donate this book to us. It is currently being digitized, but we hope to have it available for patrons to view in the archives soon.

The archives is very grateful to the Jason family for this donation, which is just the latest of their generous contributions to our department. Previous donations have included wonderful rare books and programs for early campus events at the State College for Colored Students. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Acquisition from the Office of Alumni Affairs

Written by: Cale McCammon

The Delaware State University Archives' collection is expanding. The folks at the Office of Alumni Relations (previously known as the Office of Alumni Affairs) recently sent over thirty linear feet of materials our way. These included minutes and financial records of the Alumni Association, newsletters, photo albums, as well as copies of The Echo that have helped us fill holes in our existing collection. We’re having quite a time going through the photographs, which we hope to finish processing soon.

Class of 1913. Among one of the oldest photographs 
we’ve found sleeved in the albums.
We’d like to thank the folks at the Office of Alumni Relations for sending us their materials and look forward to more transfers. We also encourage any other departments on campus to get in touch with us if you have materials that need a safe home.
Miss DSC, Homecoming, Presidential Scholarship Ball—
just a few of the events we’ve encountered in the photos.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Caring for your family photographs

Written by: Emily Cottle

Here in the archives we’ve been doing a lot of work on photograph collections lately and thought that our readers might benefit from a few tips for dealing with your own family photograph collections.
The following are just a few of the great resources available online to help you get started with preserving your family’s materials.

Below are a summary of just a few of the tips you’ll find in the sources listed above:
  • Photographs last longest in areas that are a stable (preferably cool) temperature that is not damp.
  • Avoid using rubber bands to group photos as they dry out and stick to the photos, causing damage.
  • Use photo corners to mount items in scrapbooks or albums – that way you can easily remove the photos and you avoid putting glue or adhesive directly on the photos.
  • Store photos in boxes with lids and without handholds if possible to prevent dust and pests from damaging photos.
  • Avoid framing and leaving valuable family photographs on display for long periods of time. Instead, make a copy and display that. Fading caused by light damage is irreversible.

Visit the sites listed above to learn more or post specific questions in the comments below.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Founders Day 2014

Carlos Holmes as President William C. Jason 
striking a thoughtful pose.
Written by: Cale McCammon

February 25th’s snowy weather didn’t dampen DSU’s spirits as we celebrated the university’s 183rd birthday, complete with birthday cake and tours of Loockerman Hall, the oldest building on campus and the former center of the university. As part of the celebration, students donned period-style costumes as Carlos Holmes, Director of News Services at the Office of Public Relations, dressed as President William C. Jason and provided insights into the history of the university.

Loockerman Hall, February 25, 2014.

Founders Day is an annual celebration of the university’s heritage from its beginnings in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students after the passage of the second Morrill Land Grant Act. The archives have a collection of past Founders Day programs, the oldest going back to 1942. We also have photographs starting in the 1970s. By all accounts, DSU has made a history of celebrating history.

You can see more photos from the day on the university's website here

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Treasure: State College for Colored Students records

Written by: Emily Cottle

The original wooden box housing the SCCS records.
In January 2014, the archives was very excited to receive a call from the Administration building that they had a box of State College for Colored Students (SCCS) records they had found in a closet.  These records include grade cards for summer and extension school students at the SCCS dating back to the 1920s. The records arrived at the archives in a wooden box sorted by alphabetical dividers. The cards were transferred to archival folders maintaining their original arrangement within the box. Though the records no longer reside in it, the wooden box has also been retained.

The photos included in this post show the wooden box containing the records when they arrived and then their new archival housing.

The records after being rehoused into archival folders and boxes.
The archives would like to extend a sincere thank you to Rhonda Powell-Sargeant of the financial aid office who recognized the importance of these records and saw that they were transferred to the archives.  We also encourage anyone else on campus that has materials which document the history of the university to contact the university archives at x6130 or x7179 to discuss a potential transfer.

Come back next week for a recap of today’s rescheduled Founder’s Day festivities!

Additional posts in our Treasures series can be found here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Treasure: The Echo, 1909-1912

Written by: Emily Cottle

This post is the first in our Treasures series. Each post in this series will focus on a particular item (or in this case, group of related items) that are considered important treasures of our collection.

The homepage of the Delaware Heritage Collection
displays a selection of recently added items.

This week’s treasures are the early issues of The Echo, which was the early school newspaper of Delaware State (or more accurately, the State College for Colored Students, as it was then known). In our collection we have 48 of these very early issues dating from 1909-1912. As you read about last month, we are currently scanning these valuable resources and uploading them to our Delaware Heritage Collection site. Thirty-seven issues have been digitized thus far with the final batch expected to be posted in March.

These newspapers contain a wide array of important information about the university at this time. It includes listing of the administration, faculty, and staff members, as well as detailed accounts of campus events and other local happenings. Issues also include essays or other articles often written by notable college personnel such as President William C. Jason and Lydia P. Laws, among many others.

You can view each page of the issue separately or download the complete PDF.
The digitized issues can be viewed here

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Staff Profile: Cale McCammon

Written by: Cale McCammon

Cale hard at work processing
items from the photographs collection.
My name is Cale McCammon, and I’ve just started as an archival fellow here at the University Archives and Special Collections. I’m fresh out of graduate school, new to Delaware, and I’m ready to get my hands dirty. You can learn a little about my bio on the Contributors page, or you can continue reading and get to know me a little better.

DSU Archives: How did you decide you wanted to be an archivist?
Cale: While a student at UVA, I studied abroad in England and Ireland. We toured different cultural institutions like the British Library, and I suppose I got caught up in the mystique of things. After doing some research, it seemed like the profession would be a logical marriage of the subjects I was studying in college (English and history), and so I decided to dive into graduate school at UNC.

DSU Archives: What excites you the most about working at Delaware State University?
Cale: Everything, really! But the fact that the DSU’s archives is so young and beginning to grow makes it even more exciting for me. In this context, you can really make a difference. You can build ties with the community, you can communicate why it’s important to have an archive, and you can make those first noteworthy collections available to researchers. By the end of my stay here, I expect I’ll be as attached to the project as I am to my cats!

DSU Archives: What are your favorite materials to work with, and why?
Cale: It’s difficult for me to pick a favorite, but I will say that I am excited to start processing our collection of photographs. Because photographs are visual, they can often immediately communicate historic value to audiences, both in-person and online, and identifying people in them sometimes becomes a puzzle of its own. I expect to highlight some interesting finds over the next several months, so be sure to visit our blog again!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

History: Delaware State University, 1993-present

Written by: Emily Cottle

Welcome back for the final part of this three part series on the history of Delaware State University. Be sure to check out part one or two if you missed them. This week picks up in 1993 during the tenure of President William B. DeLauder.

On July 1, 1993, Governor Thomas Carper signed Senate Bill 138, which officially changed the name from Delaware State College to Delaware State University (DSU). The photo at right shows Governor Carper with Representative Nancy Wagner, Senator Herman Holloway, Mrs. Vermell DeLauder, and President DeLauder at a reenactment of the bill signing.

President DeLauder’s tenure also include numerous campus improvements, such as the second phase of the William C. Jason Library addition, Warren Franklin residential halls, the Mishoe Science Center expansion, and the MBNA Building (renamed the Bank of America Building in 2008), and the Administration Building, among others. 

Under the tenure of DSU’s next president, Dr. Allen L. Sessoms, the first two doctoral programs were established: Educational Leadership and Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Mathematical Physics. By the end of President Sessoms’ term in 2008, DSU had launched a total of five doctoral programs and added five master’s degrees.  Enrollment continued to increase and grew by more than 15%, going from 3,178 students in 2003 to a school-record 3,756 in 2007.

While Dr. Claibourne D. Smith served as acting president, the Wellness Center was completed in the summer of 2009 and in January 2010 Dr. Harry L. Williams was sworn in as Delaware State’s 10th president. DSU continued to thrive under his leadership expanding research initiatives and rising in the US News and World Report ranking of HBCUs to 9th in 2013 from its initial ranking of 22nd in the list’s first year in 2008.

From left to right, DSU Presidents Dr. William B. DeLauder, Dr. Allan L. Sessoms, acting president Dr. Claibourne D. Smith, and Dr. Harry Lee Williams.

To recap, the presidents during this period were Dr. William B. DeLauder (1987-2003), Dr. Allen L. Sessoms (2003-2008), Dr. Claibourne D. Smith [acting president] (2008-2010), and Dr. Harry L. Williams (2010-present).

Delaware State has a very long rich history and these three blog posts barely scratched the surface. They are meant to serve as a general introduction and future posts will highlight particular events or eras in more detail.

"History." Delaware State University. (accessed January 10, 2014).

"Presidential Tenure Highlights." Delaware State University. (accessed January 10, 2014).

Skelcher, Bradley. Delaware State University. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishers, 2000. (accessed January 10, 2014).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

History: Delaware State College, 1947-1993

Written by: Emily Cottle

This post is part two of a three part series about the history of Delaware State University. Be sure to check out last week’s post covering 1891-1947 available here. This week we pick up in 1947.

In 1947, the name of the State College for Colored Students was changed to Delaware State College (DSC) by the Delaware State Legislature. In 1948 there was a then-record graduating class of 49 students.

However, in 1949, Delaware State College struggled as its Middle State Commission on Higher Education accreditation was revoked. A state task force was created to study the role of Delaware State College in higher education in Delaware and to consider it becoming a junior college or being closed altogether. However, President Oscar Chapman was the lone member of this taskforce that fought to maintain DSC as a four-year institution.

DSC persevered and based on a 1954 report submitted by President Jerome Holland, DSC continued as a four-year institution and received then-unprecedented major capital funding from the state. This funding  provided for the construction of Memorial Hall, Conwell Hall (dormitory), an administration building (now Grossley Hall), and other campus renovations. It was also under Dr. Holland’s leadership that the College won back its full accreditation from Middle States. In 1960, the College’s enrollment had increased to 386.

Dr. Luna Mishoe’s 27 years at Delaware State College resulted in additional campus improvements with the construction of Laws Hall, the home economics building (now the Price Building), an agriculture building (now the Baker building), as well as the Education & Humanities Building, the original Martin Luther King Student Center, and the first phase of the William C. Jason Library. At the end of President Mishoe’s tenure, enrollment had increased from 386 in 1960 to 2,327 in 1987.

Additional highlights included the establishment of the first master’s degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction in 1981 and six other graduate degrees by 1987.
From left to right, Delaware State College Presidents: Dr. Oscar J. Chapman, Dr. Maurice E. Thomasson (acting president), Dr. Jerome H. Holland, and Dr. Luna I. Mishoe.

To reiterate those mentioned above, presidents during this period included the conclusion of Dr. Howard Gregg’s tenure until 1949, followed by Dr. Maurice E. Thomasson, serving his first of two stints as acting president  from 1949-1950. Dr. Oscar Chapman came onboard for the shortest tenure of any president from 1950-1951. After this was Dr. Thomasson’s second term as acting president from 1951-1953, followed by Dr. Jerome Holland from 1953-1960. His successor was Dr. Luna I. Mishoe, who had the second longest tenure of any president from 1960-1987. The last president in this time period was Dr. William B. DeLauder, who began in 1987 and whose tenure will continue into next week’s post on Delaware State University, 1993-present.

Again, I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about the history of Delaware State to check out a copy of Delaware State University by Dr. Bradley Skelcher. Come back next week for the final part in our series that will cover 1993 to the present.

"History." Delaware State University. (accessed January 10, 2014).

"Presidential Tenure Highlights." Delaware State University. (accessed January 10, 2014).

Skelcher, Bradley. Delaware State University. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishers, 2000. (accessed January 10, 2014).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

History: State College for Colored Students, 1891-1947

Written by: Emily Cottle

This post kicks off a three part series where we will explore the history of Delaware State University. Each post will include a different era of DSU’s history: part 1 will focus on the State College for Colored Students (1891-1947), part 2 will cover Delaware State College (1947-1993), and part 3 will cover the most recent history of Delaware State University (1993-present).
Delaware State University by Dr. Bradley Skelcher.

Established on May 15, 1891 by the Delaware General Assembly, the State College for Colored Students (SCCS) was created as a result of the second Morrill Act of 1890. This act required that existing land-grant institutions either open their doors to students of all races or create a new separate institution for black students. (The original land-grant institution in Delaware was the University of Delaware.)

Upon its official opening on February 2, 1892, five courses of study leading to a baccalaureate degree were available: Agricultural, Chemical, Classical, Engineering, and Scientific. A Preparatory Department was established in 1893 for students who were not yet qualified to pursue a baccalaureate degree upon entrance. In 1897, SCCS began offering a three-year normal course leading to a teacher's certificate.

The first graduates received their diplomas in May 1898. The teacher education program was expanded to four years in 1911 and students who successfully completed the program were awarded a Bachelor of Pedagogy degree. In 1912, the available areas of study changed to Academic, Agricultural, Mechanic Arts and Domestic Science, all leading to a Bachelor of Pedagogy. The Preparatory Department was phased out during the 1916-1917 school year and a Model Grade School was established that awarded a high school diploma upon successful completion of four years of study.

Academic programs continued to evolve and expand. In 1923, a Junior College Division was added. Four-year curricula in the Arts and Sciences, Elementary Education, Home Economics, Agriculture, and Industrial Arts were established in 1932. In June 1934, the College graduated its first class of bachelor-degree candidates completing one of these four-year courses of study.

All of this academic growth culminated the College receiving its first provisional accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 1944.

Throughout this period, the State College for Colored Students had four presidents. The first president of the college was Wesley P. Webb, whose tenure lasted from 1891-1895. He was followed by William C. Jason, whose tenure from 1895-1923 remains the longest of any president. Richard S. Grossley was president from 1923-1942, succeeded by Dr. Howard D. Gregg from 1942-1949.
From left to right, State College for Colored Students presidents: Wesley P. Webb, William C. Jason, Richard S. Grossley, and Dr. Howard D. Gregg.

For more information about the history of Delaware State, including a large number of wonderful pictures, come to the library and check out a copy of Delaware State University by Dr. Bradley Skelcher.

Come back next week for post 2 and learn about the institution after our name was changed to Delaware State College.


"History." Delaware State University. (accessed January 10, 2014).

Skelcher, Bradley. Delaware State University. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishers, 2000. (accessed January 10, 2014).