Delaware Public Media

Enlighten Me: Delaware Historical Society’s 'Collecting Wilmington: Place, Perspective & Memory’

Oct 4, 2019

The Delaware Historical Society launched a new exhibit this week - one that’s so big it will be rolled out in 5 parts between now and May 2020.

It’s called “Collecting Wilmington: Place, Perspective & Memory” – and features the Historical Society’s recently acquired Paul Preston Davis Collection of Delawareana. Davis is a retired Delmarva Power executive who spent over four decades amassing a vast collection of rare business trade cards, photography, African Americana, rare print materials, and commemorative objects. He donated it to the Historical Society last year.

In this week’s Enlighten Me, Delaware Historical Society’s Chief Curator Leigh Rifenburg joins us to learn more about the collection, the man behind it,  and getting ready to show it to the public.


Historical Society unveiled the first piece of this exhibition, featuring Business Ephemera, October 1st.

The roll-out continues over the next 8 months in this order:

  • Rare Books and Print Materials, November 14, 2019
  • Sheet Music, January 14, 2020
  • Watches and Commemorative Objects, March 3, 2020
  • Wilmington Photography,  May 6, 2020

More information about the “Collecting Wilmington: Place, Perspective & Memory” and how it will be rolled out is available at the Delaware Historical Society’s website.