The first recorded attempt to establish a state archives in Delaware was in 1818, when Governor John Clark urged establishment of a place for public records to be “securely kept and preserved.” Nearly a century passed before action was undertaken. By the early 20th century the possible loss of Delaware’s rich documentary had drawn the attention of a number of interested citizens. Responding to their pleas, the General Assembly enacted legislation creating the Division of Public Records on March 16, 1905. In 1913, Delaware’s first State Archivist was appointed and offices were established in a wing in the Old State House. Demand for space led to the construction of the present Hall of Records in 1938, and an addition of an underground storage facility in 1970. The Hall of Records was named for long time state archivist Leon deValinger, Jr. in 1989. In 1994, a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating condition of Archives’ facilities, solicited the signatures of thousands of Delawareans supporting the construction of a new building. With additional funding provided by individuals, corporations and foundations, a modern state of the art structure was opened in 2001. Renovations of the Hall of Records were completed in 2003. Today the Delaware Public Archives continues to preserve the information which documents the history of the First State and its people.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Katie Hall at (302) 744-5036 or via email at

LOCATION: Wall mounted near the entrance of the exhibits area in the Hall of Records at 121 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd N, in Dover.