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Delaware Public Archives digitally releases the "Wilmington Railway Collection"

Wilmington Railway Collection
Delaware Public Archives
Wilmington Railway Collection

The Delaware Public Archives in Dover has released a new digital collection.

Delawareans can now view the “Wilmington Railway Collection.”

“The Collection is 82 photographs of Wilmington trolleys," said Maegan Peterman, records services supervisor at the Delaware Public Archives. "There’s actually a bus in there as well. So different transportation, specifically in the Wilmington area. And the Collection was purchased by The Friends of the Delaware Archives from Main Street Antiques in Newark and was donated to us (Delaware Public Archives) in 2017.”

Peterman notes that a number of the trolley cars depicted in the collection were on the Bellefonte, Elsmere, Newport and Stanton lines.

Peterman says the train photos are all of electric locomotives that ran between 1936 and 1971.

Peterman says they expect this collection to have broad appeal.

“I think honestly transportation is relevant to all of us," Peterman said. "And so I think it’s really applicable to everyone and the train pictures are really cool. It’s really nostalgic to look at stuff like that from the 1900’s - particularly the early 1900’s - and so I really think people like to look at the trains that their grandparents or parents used to ride.”

Peterman notes that the collection shows the car barn built at the corner of DuPont Street and Delaware Avenue by railcar manufacturers turned shipbuilders, Harlan & Hollingsworth in the 1850’s.

It also includes photos of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad train station and the Pennsylvania Railroad station in Wilmington.

You can access the Collection virtually here. Or you can call Archives to schedule a visit to review the physical photograph collection at the Delaware Public Archives.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.