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  Archived Posts From: 2018

news

Division welcomes three new employees

Written on: February 20th, 2018 in News

In January 2018, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs welcomed three new employees to its staff. Following are profiles of these talented individuals who are helping the agency in its efforts to save Delaware history.

Three of the newest members of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ team. From left: Laura Walsh, Ed Larrivee and Sara Clendaniel

Three of the newest members of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ team. From left: Laura Walsh, Ed Larrivee and Sara Clendaniel

As the division’s volunteer-services coordinator, Sara Clendaniel is working to recruit, and fully utilize the talents of, a dedicated cadre of volunteers who can help the agency preserve Delaware’s historical legacy. A lifelong resident of Magnolia, Del., she comes to the division after serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer-coordinator working with Sussex County Habitat for Humanity to build and repair housing in Ellendale, Laurel and Seaford, Del. A 2016 graduate of the University of Delaware, Clendaniel holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in business administration. During her college years, she served on the board of the student chapter of Canine Companions for Independence which helps train service dogs.

As a member of the division’s Collections, Affiliates, Research and Exhibits (CARE) team, exhibit-arts specialist Ed Larrivee’s responsibilities include graphic- and Web-design, as well as tasks associated with the design, fabrication and installation of exhibits at the state’s five museums and associated sites. Originally from Dover, Del., the Camden, Del. resident holds a bachelor’s degree in digital film-making from Wilmington University and an associate’s degree in multi-media design from Delaware Technical and Community College. Larrivee’s keen interest in history derives, in part, from his mother Joan who has served for many years as an architectural historian for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, and his father Ed Larrivee Sr., the longtime owner of Larrivee Designer Hardware Center, an antique and specialty-hardware shop in Dover.

Curator of Collections Management Laura Walsh’s responsibilities center on the research, cataloging, preservation and storage of the significant collection of historic materials owned by the State of Delaware including museum objects, archaeological artifacts, works of art and many others. She holds a master’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Temple University. Prior to joining the division staff, Walsh worked on a project that relocated the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s collections to a new curation facility. The Philadelphia-area native now lives in Newark, Del.


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museums

State Sen. Bonini celebrates John Dickinson Plantation accreditation

Written on: February 19th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

State Sen. Colin Bonini recently visited the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums—the John Dickinson Plantation near Kitts Hummock; the Johnson Victrola Museum and Old State House in downtown Dover; the New Castle Court House Museum; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes—and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

State Sen. Colin Bonini visits the John Dickinson Plantation in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Bonini, site-supervisor Gloria Henry and historic-site interpreter Vertie Lee

State Sen. Colin Bonini visits the John Dickinson Plantation in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Bonini, site-supervisor Gloria Henry and historic-site interpreter Vertie Lee

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

The John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware’s first National Historic Landmark, was the boyhood home of John Dickinson, a founding father of the United States, a framer and signer of the U.S. Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” The site’s Georgian-style mansion stands as a memorial to this American patriot, legislator and farmer. The plantation is a partner site in the First State National Historical Park. It is currently open for visitation and tours from Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation

Mansion house at the John Dickinson Plantation


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news

Division mourns the loss of Ed Gillespie

Written on: February 16th, 2018 in News


The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs mourns the loss of our colleague and friend, Ed Gillespie. We ask that you keep Ed and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Ed Gillespie


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historic-sites

State legislators Simpson and Kenton visit Abbott’s Mill to celebrate accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums

Written on: February 15th, 2018 in Historic SitesNews

State Sen. Gary Simpson and state Rep. Harvey Kenton recently visited Abbott’s Mill, located at 15411 Abbott’s Pond Road in Milford, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums, over 40 historic properties and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

State Sen. Gary Simpson and state Rep. Harvey Kenton visit Abbott’s Mill in Milford in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Simpson and Kenton

State Sen. Gary Simpson and state Rep. Harvey Kenton visit Abbott’s Mill in Milford in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: division director Tim Slavin, Simpson and Kenton

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

 

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, Abbott’s Mill was built in the late-19th century and continued to ground grain into flour until 1960. The present mill was built on the foundations of earlier milling structures dating to the late 1700s. Acquired by the State of Delaware in the 1960s, the mill complex is comprised of the preserved grain mill, 1905 house, stable, and outbuildings. The complex is managed by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs which leases it to the Delaware Nature Society for use as a nature center. For visitor information, go to the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center webpage or call 302-422-0847.

Abbott’s Mill

Abbott’s Mill


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news

National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, March 12–14, 2018

Written on: February 15th, 2018 in NewsPreservation

Historic preservationists from across the country will meet in Washington, D.C. from March 12 to 14, 2018 for National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week, an annual gathering that promotes sound federal preservation policy and programs. Sponsored by Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, activities will include sessions on key preservation-related issues capped off by visits to Capitol Hill for meetings with members of Congress.

National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week Seal


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historic-sites

Woodburn to be lit up in blue and green in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Written on: February 14th, 2018 in Historic SitesNews

Between Feb. 25 and March 3, 2018, 2016, Woodburn: The Governor’s Residence, located at 151 Kings Highway S.W. in Dover, Del., will be lit up in blue and green in honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, an annual campaign sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association to bring public attention to the critical needs of people with eating disorders and their families.

Woodburn lit up for National Eating Disorders Awareness Month

Woodburn lit up for National Eating Disorders Awareness Month

With its 2018 campaign theme, “Let’s Get Real,” the association is expanding the conversation about eating disorders and highlighting stories about the complicated relationships that many Americans have with food, exercise and appearance that lead to negative food- and body-image-issues. By expanding conversations, busting myths, getting real about the wide range of experiences and sharing its online screening tool, the association is hoping to reach new audiences while sharing resources and diverse stories of recovery.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week logo

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and will affect 30 million Americans at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, myths and misinformation still keep people from getting the help they need. The association is working to counter these factors through a variety of activities including social media campaigns, legislative advocacy, building lightings, local events and more. Results from its 2017 efforts include a 22% increase in contacts to the association’s helpline, 538 million people reached with information and resources via social media, over 178,000 visits to the association’s websites, nearly 36,000 people screened for an eating disorder including 95% who were either currently struggling or at risk of developing an eating disorder, and 73 landmark buildings in 34 states that were illuminated to shine a spotlight on eating disorders.

Woodburn is one of Delaware’s most historic homes and an outstanding example of late-18th-century Georgian architecture. The house was built in 1798 by Charles Hillyard, III (1759–1814), a fourth-generation Delawarean from a family of affluent landowners who were frequently active in the governmental, social and economic life of Kent County. Woodburn has served as the home of Delaware’s governor since it was purchased by the state in 1965. It was listed individually in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has been responsible for the care and conservation of Woodburn since August 2009. The division’s charge includes repair and maintenance of the building; design and upkeep of the property’s garden and horticultural displays; and furnishing of the home.

Woodburn: The Governor’s Residence

Woodburn: The Governor’s Residence


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museums

State Sen. Bushweller celebrates Old State House accreditation

Written on: February 14th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

State Sen. Brian Bushweller recently visited The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., to celebrate the accreditation of the museum system of the State of Delaware by the American Alliance of Museums, the highest recognition afforded to museums in the United States. Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the system includes five state museums—the John Dickinson Plantation near Kitts Hummock; the Johnson Victrola Museum and Old State House in downtown Dover; the New Castle Court House Museum; and the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes—and the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections.

Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the alliance’s accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

State Sen. Brian Bushweller visits The Old State House in Dover in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: Division Deputy Director Suzanne Savery, historic-site interpreter Valerie Kaufman, site-supervisor Nena Todd, Bushweller, and historic-site interpreters Susan Emory and Gavin Malone

State Sen. Brian Bushweller visits The Old State House in Dover in celebration of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. From left: Division Deputy Director Suzanne Savery, historic-site interpreter Valerie Kaufman, site-supervisor Nena Todd, Bushweller, and historic-site interpreters Susan Emory and Gavin Malone

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the earliest capitol buildings in the United States, serving as the home of Delaware’s legislature until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. It features an 18th-century-style courtroom, governor’s and county offices, and chambers for the state legislature. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a partner site in the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is open for visitation and tours from Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

The Old State House

The Old State House


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museums

Division releases 2017 annual report

Written on: January 30th, 2018 in MuseumsNewsPreservation

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs has released its annual report which illustrates the programs and services that led to the agency’s accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Go to the following to read the full report: We Are Accredited!—Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs 2017 Annual Report.


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museums

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, composer

Written on: January 29th, 2018 in MuseumsNews

By Valerie Kauffman, historic-site interpreter, Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs

During February 2018, the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, Del., will be celebrating Black History Month with a four-part series of programs entitled “The Evolution of Black Recorded Music.” During the series, we will be playing the recorded performances of noted artists like Jelly Roll Morton, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson who all held exclusive contracts with the Victor Talking Machine Company and had active stage careers. The first program in the series, entitled “The Roots (1900s to 1910s),” will take place on Feb. 3 at 1 p.m.

In this article, however, I am featuring another extraordinary musician whose compositions were recorded by the Victor Company. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was a British composer mostly known for his three cantatas based on the epic poem, “Song of Hiawatha,” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Samuel premiered the first section in 1898, when he was 22. “Onaway, Awake Beloved,” Op. 30, No. 1, from the cantata, “Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast,” was recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company as part of the Education Department’s collection and was listed in the high school textbook, “What We Hear in Music,” along with unit-plan suggestions for the teacher.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Samuel was named after the British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was born on Aug. 15, 1875 in London. His father, Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, was African. Originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone, Taylor was part of a Creole family that had been rescued from transport into American slavery by the British Navy because of the abolition of this practice in Britain. Samuel was raised in Croydon, Surrey by his British mother, Alice Hare Martin. There were numerous musicians on his mother’s side and her father, Benjamin Holman, played the violin. He started teaching Samuel when he was a small child. His ability was apparent at a young age so Holman also paid for him to have violin lessons.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor as a young student

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor as a young student

Samuel’s college music training, however, was supervised by Col. Herbert A. Walters who was a silk merchant, army volunteer, amateur musician and honorary choirmaster of St. George’s Church, Croydon. Walters arranged and paid for Samuel to study at the Royal College of Music beginning at age 15. Showing great ability in arrangement, Samuel was encouraged to change from violin to composition as his major. He studied under the distinguished composer and professor Charles Villiers Stanford.

After completing his degree, Samuel became a professional musician. He was appointed a professorship at the Crystal Palace School of Music. He conducted the orchestra at the Croydon Conservatoire and the choir for the Rochester Choral Society, and was made the resident conductor of the Westmoreland Festival. In 1910, he assumed the position of professor of composition at the Guildhall School of Music. The Handel Society hired him to lead their concerts, and he did so until his death. Along with his many jobs and work as a private teacher, he acted as adjudicator at various festivals and competitions making his first appearance in the role at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1900.

African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar met with Samuel in London in 1896. He set Dunbar’s poems “African Romances,” “Dream Lovers: An Operatic Romance,” “Candle Lightin’ Time” and “A Corn Song” to music. He composed arrangements of the “Twenty-Four Negro Melodies,” Op 59, based on songs such as “Deep River” of which he had heard the Fisk Jubilee Singers perform during their British tour. His program notes for those piano melodies stated “what Brahms has done for the Hungarian folk music, Dvorak for the Bohemian, and Grieg for the Norwegian, I have tried to do for these Negro Melodies.” “Deep River—Negro Melody,” Op. 59, No. 10, is another piece that was recorded under the direction of Victor’s Education Department and was used in the music curriculum designed for high school students.

In 1900, Samuel gave the opening address at the first Pan-African Conference in London. He was the youngest representative present. The conference featured 30 delegates, mainly from England and the West Indies, but only a few Africans and African Americans. Among them was one of America’s leading black intellectuals, W.E.B. Dubois, who was to become the torchbearer of subsequent Pan-African conferences or congresses as they later came to be called. Along with his friend Dusé Mohammed Ali, Samuel founded “The African Times and Orient Review,” a Pan-Africanist monthly journal first published in London in 1912.

Samuel embarked on tours of America in 1904, 1906 and 1910, and in 1904, he had a private and unprecedented audience with President Theodore Roosevelt in which Roosevelt expressed his desire for more liberal attitudes towards people of color. On that same trip, he met with Booker T. Washington who wrote the preface for Samuel’s “Twenty-Four Negro Melodies.” He conducted the combined forces of the United States Marine Band and an African American choir which was called the Coleridge-Taylor Society in his honor. During the 1906 tour, he presented his compositions “Atonement,” “Quadroon Girl” and “Hiawatha.” This trip took him through the Midwest to St. Louis, Detroit and Milwaukee, and to Toronto, Canada. Exclusive white orchestras as well as African American choral groups invited him to conduct when he toured America in 1910.

On Sept. 1, 1912, at the age of 37, Samuel passed away due to overwork and pneumonia. His wife, Jessie Walmisley Coleridge-Taylor, was provided 100 pounds as a monthly pension from the British government for the rest of her life. The Guildhall School of Music arranged bursaries for both of his children, Hiawatha and Gwendolyn. His children went on to become professional musicians themselves.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with his family. From left, Samuel, his children Hiawatha and Gwendolyn, and his wife Jessie

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with his family. From left, Samuel, his children Hiawatha and Gwendolyn, and his wife Jessie

Due to early record corporations like The Victor Talking Machine Company, today we are able to reach back and discover the exciting artists that were the foundation of our modern musical culture. We can also gain a new understanding of the contributions that they made to the music industry as well as to society as a whole. Join us at the Johnson Victrola Museum at 1 p.m. on each Saturday in February 2018 to hear presentations from the series, “The Evolution of Black Recorded Music,” and re-discover these musical pioneers.

 

 

 


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education

Students honored at 16th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition ceremony

Written on: January 26th, 2018 in EducationNews

Students from across the state gathered on Jan. 13, 2018 at the Delaware Public Archives building in Dover to celebrate the winners of the 16th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition and to be recognized for their knowledge of the First State’s influential role in crafting the U.S. Constitution. The Delaware Day competition ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in early December, but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Detail from North Laurel Elementary School’s Project B. The project received Honorable Mention awards in the overall competition and for artistic merit.

Detail from North Laurel Elementary School’s Project B. The project received Honorable Mention awards in the overall competition and for artistic merit.

Delaware Day commemorates the anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the Constitution on Dec. 7, 1787. Six months later, on June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document thereby providing the two-thirds majority of the states needed to establish it as the law of the land.

More than 1,100 students from 22 schools were given two months to prepare informative displays illustrating Delaware’s role in the creation and ratification of the Constitution, integrating creative elements such as artwork, poetry, songs and cartoons. This year’s competition featured 35 separate entries, the most in the program’s history. More than 13,500 students have participated in the competition since it was initiated in 2001.

“Delaware Day is our time to celebrate just how important our state was in the early days of the nation,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “As always, the projects our fourth graders presented were outstanding tributes to this legacy, and I congratulate them for their efforts and the time they devoted to learning about the history of the First State.”Delaware Day logoEach year, Signer’s Awards are presented to schools with the most creative and historically accurate projects. Named in honor of Delaware’s five signers of the U. S. Constitution, the awards recognize schools in each county plus the city of Wilmington as well as a private school. Representatives from the Department of State, including the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, judged the projects focusing on three main areas: historical accuracy, spelling and creativity.

The Signer’s Awards for the 2017 competition are the George Read Award to Eastside Charter School in Wilmington; the Gunning Bedford, Jr. Award (tie) to Gallaher and Keene elementary schools, both in Newark; the John Dickinson Award to North Dover Elementary School; the Richard Bassett Award to North Laurel Elementary School; and the Jacob Broom Award (four-way tie) to Epworth Christian School in Laurel, Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Glasgow, the Learning Express Academy in Newark; and Wilmington Friends School.

Honorable Mention awards were presented to Brader, Bunker Hill, Booker T. Washington, Lake Forest Central (two projects), Leasure (two projects), Marshall, McVey, Mt. Pleasant (four projects), North Laurel (two projects) and Shields (four projects) elementary schools; the Islamic Academy of Delaware; MOT (three projects) and Odyssey (two projects) charter schools; and Ursuline Academy.

Artistic Merit Awards, reviewed by the Delaware Division of the Arts with assistance from the Newark Arts Alliance, were also announced during the ceremony. These awards recognized projects whose overall visual design and impact, composition, cohesiveness and originality represented artistic excellence. Schools honored in this category were Bunker Hill Elementary School in Middletown, Epworth Christian School in Laurel, Gallaher Elementary School in Newark, North Dover Elementary School and North Laurel Elementary School. Honorable Mention awards in the Artistic Merit category were presented to Keene, North Laurel (Project B) and Shields (Project A) elementary schools; and Eastside Charter and Wilmington Friends schools.


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