The University of Delaware Library is Delaware’s longest-serving federal depository, curating the largest collection of federal documents in the state.  The exhibition titled “Documents for Delawareans” celebrates 120 years in the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO’s) Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).  The exhibition highlights federal publications collected by the Library to provide Delaware residents access to federal government information.

The FDLP ensures the public free access to Federal documents in participating libraries across the Nation.  Federal publications illustrate and document Delaware features and interests within a national context.  Through the FDLP, approximately 1,150 libraries nationwide work with GPO to provide public access to authentic, published information from all three branches of the Federal Government in print and electronic formats. While the anniversary of UD Library’s designation is observed on June 30, documentation shows that the library became a depository sometime between June 15 and July 1, 1897, sponsored by a United States Senator. The exhibition presents a small sample of the printed publications produced by the U.S. government over the past 200 years and made available to the public free of charge through this federal depository library.

Location: Wilmington, Delaware / Photo by Louis [i.e. Lewis] W. Hine, May, 1910.  Photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee (U.S.)

Groups of girl workers at the gate of the American Tobacco Co., Wilmington, Delaware, noon period, May 24, 1910. Young girls obviously under 14 years of age, who work about 10 hours a day every day except Saturday. Investigator, Edward F. Brown.

"Population 10 and 15 Years of Age Employed as Breadwinners: Number and Percentage in all Occupations, in Agricultural Pursuits, and in all other Occupations, in 1900, by Sex and by States and Territories" No. 82, p. 178. In Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1907. 30th ed. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1908.

The 1907 Statistical Abstract of the United States published statistics on male and female children 10 to 15 years of age employed as “Breadwinners” in 1900; statistics were also recorded for workers 15 years of age and older.  Public interest backed by federal statistics resulted in the establishment of laws restricting the use of child labor.

U.S. Senate. 25th Congress, 2nd Session. Memorial of the City Council, Board of Trade, and citizens of Wilmington, Delaware, praying the establishment of a national foundry on the waters of the Brandywine, in the vicinity of Wilmington. March 7, 1838. Laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.(S.Doc.276). Washington: Blair & Rives, 1838. (Serial Set 317,v.4).

Map of New Jersey - Delaware Boundary in Delaware River and Delaware Bay

State of New Jersey v. State of Delaware, 295 U.S. 694 (1935)

Delaware’s most unique border feature is the 12-mile circular boundary established by King Charles II in 1681 when he deeded the land to William Penn.  The circle does not include any land in New Jersey, as that was previously deeded. The border with New Jersey is unusual in that all of the Delaware River is Delaware’s to the mean low water line on the New Jersey side, giving control of the river to Delaware.  The United States Supreme Court affirmed the border in 1934 and published this map as part of the decision. The border was reaffirmed in 2009, protecting Delaware’s rights under its Coastal Zone Act of 1971.

Delaware. Division of Emergency Planning and Operations.; United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Region III.; United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Philadelphia District. (1990). Delaware hurricane evacuation study. Delaware: The Division.

Years before “climate change” was commonly spoken, maps in this 1990 worst case emergency response plan showed dark blue waters covering popular beach areas and lighter blue intruding deep into areas of low elevation.  Published cooperatively by state and federal agencies, this 1990 plan was distributed chiefly to emergency response agencies.

United States. (1905). Specifications for the twin-screw steel steam light-house tender Sunflower. Washington, D.C.: Light-House Board.

“Tender to be delivered to the Edgemoor Light-House Depot, Edgemoor, Del.”

The U.S. Coast Guard website states: “Sunflower was built as a coastwise tender and was the first to use wire rope instead of manila line.  She was commissioned on 23 March 1907 and was assigned to the 4th Lighthouse District and was based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”

Additional Items:

  1. United States. Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, & United States Maritime Commission. (1948). The Port of Wilmington, Delaware. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off. (Book)

  2. United States. (2009). Community-based solutions to drug-related crime in rural America: Hearing before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress, second session, December 5, 2008, St. Albans, Vermont. Washington: U.S. G.P.O

    One of the last hearings published listing Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as a committee member before he resigned to assume the office of Vice President.  The University of Delaware Library houses his senatorial papers (1973-2009).