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General Criteria:

  • The subject of a marker may be events, places, persons, groups, or institutions significant in Delaware’s local, regional, state, or national history.
  • Eligibility will be determined case-by-case by the Delaware Public Archives.
  • A proposed marker topic must have historical significance based on its influence, effect, or impact on the course of history or cultural development in Delaware. This significance must be demonstrated and documented with appropriate primary and secondary sources in the marker application.
  • Research on the marker subject must be completed before submitting a new application. Copies of this research, including citations, must be submitted with the marker application. Failing to do so will considerably delay the application review process.
  • Information will not be included in a marker text unless it has been verified with appropriate documentation identified by the Delaware Public Archives staff or provided by the constituent. The Delaware Public Archives will conduct a reasonable amount of research to verify information from an applicant for use in writing the marker’s text.
  • The Delaware Public Archives reserves the right to deny a marker request based on the number of similar sites already represented by the Historical Markers Program.
  • Before applying, consider consulting or partnering with any groups. For example, have you notified the school district if the application is for a school, or if it is for an individual, have you contacted their family?
  • Applications must include a letter of support for the proposed historical marker from the property owner and/or city/town where the marker will be placed.
  • Markers may be subject to category-specific age requirements (see below).
    • Age requirements are considered with historical context and may be extended by the Delaware Public Archives.
    • A building, group, site, or event will not be eligible for a marker based on age alone.
  • The Delaware Public Archives reserves the right to deny a marker request that does not meet these criteria.
  • Historical discoveries are made every day. New research may lead to revisions of existing markers.
  • The State Archivist (Director of the Delaware Public Archives) has final approval of all marker text and may exercise the right to revision at any point in the development of the text or after a marker has been installed.

Structures / Architecture:

  • A building or structure may be eligible for a marker if:
    • The structure is associated with events that have significantly contributed to the broad patterns of Delaware’s history.
    • The structure embodies the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or construction method.
  • Markers will not be placed at private residences.

Places of Worship:

  • When researching and approving a place of worship for a historical marker, the Delaware Public Archive strives to tell unique and underrepresented histories.
  • A place of worship is eligible for a marker if:
    • The site/structure is connected to a significant historical event or person. The person or event cannot already be recognized on another marker.
    • The site’s/structure’s congregation has existed for at least 150 years.
    • The site/structure was constructed over 100 years ago and has been continuously used since its construction.
    • The site/structure has historically significant architectural features.


  • A cemetery is eligible for a marker if:
    • The site derives its primary significance from distinctive design features.
    • The site is associated with or integral to historical events.
  • A cemetery will not be considered eligible based solely on its notable burials or age.

Notable Delawareans:

  • Notable Delawarean markers will not be approved for a living person. Individuals recognized in this category must be deceased for more than 5 years.
  • An individual is eligible for a marker if they have made significant contributions to the history or development of the state, region, or nation or are the key player in a major historical event.
  • Individuals will not be singled out when many have shared equally in an event of historical importance.
  • Subjects that are purely genealogical, family-related, or honorific will not be considered.

Social History / Societies / Social Groups:

  • Societies, social groups, and topics in social history are eligible for a marker if:
    • They can demonstrate that their specific group, hall, lodge, or meeting house was integral to the history or development of the state, region, or nation. Alternatively, they could show that it was a key player in a major historical event.
    • They can demonstrate that their group formed and/or if the event occurred more than 50 years ago.
  • Individual groups, halls, lodges, meeting houses, etc., will not be considered eligible if their parent organization is already recognized and does not meet any other previously listed criteria.