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. http://www.desu.edu/history (accessed January 10, 2014).

"Presidential Tenure Highlights." Delaware State University.  http://www.desu.edu/administration/presidential-tenure-highlights (accessed January 10, 2014).

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