Collections

Marble - photo by Michel Tronchetti-001Collections at the University of Delaware

The University of Delaware houses a variety of world-class collections that support research, teaching, and public engagement in material culture. The websites listed below provide details about the contents of individual collections and the hours and guidelines for accessing them.


University Museums The collections of the University Museums are displayed in three separate venues: the University Gallery (prints, drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, antiquities, Inuit art); the Paul R. Jones Collection of African-American Art (one of the largest and most important extant; artists include Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Henry Ossawa Tanner, James VanDerZee, Carrie Mae Weems, and Hale Woodruff.); and the Mineralogical Museum (currently closed for renovation).

photo by NathaniaJohnson on Flickr-001

Special Collections, University Library This internationally renowned collection includes books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, broadsides, periodicals, pamphlets, ephemera, and realia from the 15th Century to the present. Strengths include English, Irish, and American literature and history; Delaware-related materials; trade catalogues; horticulture; decorative arts and American art; publishing history and the history of the book; and the history of science and technology.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University Library The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection is associated with the Special Collections Department of the University Library but is privately owned. The collection, housed in the Morris Library, focuses on British literature and art of the period 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and on the writers and illustrators of the 1890s. Its holdings comprise 7,000 first and other editions (including many signed and association copies), manuscripts, letters, works on paper, and ephemera.

photo by WordRidden on Flickr-001

Fashion and Apparel Studies: Historic Costume & Textiles Collection  Organized in 1971, this collection contains over 3,000 items of clothing men, women, and children as well as textiles from the 18th century. It is useful for teaching, design inspiration, scholarly study, public exhibits, and outreach to schools as well as museums and historical organizations.

Visual Resources Center The Visual Resources Center is the University of Delaware’s home for digital images. Our collection illustrates the full scope of the history of art and architecture from prehistory to the present.Center for Historic Architecture and Design (CHAD) Since the 1980s, CHAD researchers have documented more than 3000 historical buildings and landscapes in Delaware and more generally in the mid-Atlantic region. The documentation is now the only record of three-quarters of these sites, which have been lost to neglect or demolition. The collection includes hundreds of hand-drawn and computer-generated measured architectural drawings and thousands of photographs as well as maps, property files, in-house publications, and architectural and building material fragments.

Five Green Bottles - photo by Leo Reynolds on Flickr-001

History Media Center The Center houses a collection of over 190,000 slides covering images in American, European, and World history, of which, more than 12,000 circulate each year. An easy-to-use database lets patrons search for slides using key words, time period, or geographic location. History Media Center staff can assist users with the selection of video programs from over 700 videotapes and DVDs including academic films, documentaries, international films, special purpose videos, and feature films.ic times to the present. It encompasses both Western and non-Western cultures, and includes both traditional art forms and new media. A vital asset for faculty and students in all disciplines, the Visual Resources Center’s collection is constantly growing in support of teaching and research at the University.