The Del-Mar-Va Collection specializes in the history, literature and culture of the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula, with a particular emphasis on southern New Castle County and the genealogy of the region. The state of Delaware, Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Bay region, and Virginia’s two peninsular counties of Accomack and Northampton together comprise the Del-Mar-Va Peninsula.
Featuring more than 9,000 items, the Collection includes books and pamphlets, magazines and newspapers, photographs and postcards, posters and prints. There are dissertations and church programs, “first day” cachets and historical maps, documents and clippings…and much more. One of the highlights is the John Dickinson Memorial Collection of newspaper articles (72 c.f.), bequeathed to the Library in 2001 by Delawareana specialist and school librarian, the late John Dickinson of Smyrna.
Most materials are for “in-library” use only, but there is a small lending collection of duplicates, and many “single copy” items may be borrowed by special arrangement. The Library maintains a high quality copier, printer, scanner and film/fiche reader/printer. Cataloged holdings are fully searchable on the library's online catalog. Access to non-cataloged materials is available through the Library’s “Inventory List” (in MS Access format) which includes Delaware historical societies, web sites, museums, agencies and related sources for further research. This list is available at the Reference Desk.
The Collection is wholly funded through an endowment established in the early 1990’s by long-time Odessa [DE] resident and Library benefactor, Mrs. A. Leslie [Blackwell] Calloway, in memory of her husband Clifford, once prominent in Delaware business and civic affairs.