On April 1, 2015 the DHC Co-Chairs Sonia Aguilar and Charito Calvachi-Mateyko were honored to be the first ever in the history of the Delaware Public Archives (DPA) invited to help launch the “Behind the Scenes” Spanish speaking tour series.
“This ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour in Spanish is one of several Archives’ initiatives recognizing the growing influence of the Hispanic community in the First State’s history and culture,” said State Archivist and Archives Director Stephen M. Marz.
It was found out also, according to Marz that new records come into the Archives on a weekly basis, therefore, “if you were born, married, or attended public school in Delaware, eventually the Delaware Public Archives will receive the documents that record these important events.”
This makes this public entity the ideal place to conduct historical research and obtain vital statistical information, Marz said. Every trace made by a Latino member of the community in regard to getting naturalization papers, opening a new business, having run for office, etc., –all are archived in this institution.
“It is an honor for the members of the Commission to represent all the Hispanic residents at the first ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour in Spanish at the Delaware Public Archives,” said Javier Torrijos, chair of the Delaware Hispanic Commission. “This effort is evidence of the impact of the Hispanic community’s contribution and involvement in programs and services develop by Delaware’s state agencies.”
Tamara Stock, born in Panama and one of the first Latinas to obtain staff position on the state (she held a position at the Secretary of State Communications Office) gave us the tour behind the public areas with the rare opportunity to learn more about the role of the DPA, and see how the Archives preserves and protects the records that are important to every Delawarean.
As Archives’ Director Marz noted, we were surprised by the amount of documents and photographs that are stored at the facility. This explains why the Delaware Public Archives are well known as a valuable resource for researchers, genealogists, and historians, according to Marz. We were also able to view the new display honoring African American Genealogy research in Delaware.
Tours of the Delaware Public Archives are free to the public but reservations are required. Please contact Tom Summers, firstname.lastname@example.org, (302) 744-5047, for more information about tours.