Author Talks

Hagley regularly arranges talks by authors of recent books that draw on or relate to Hagley research collections and that will be of interest to the general public. With topics ranging broadly in the areas of business, culture, and history, these author talks provide a captivating way to learn more about the stories contained in Hagley’s collections.

Author talks begin promptly at 7 p.m. and are held in Hagley’s Soda House building. The talk is followed by an opportunity for audience discussion and purchases of the author’s book. Light refreshments are provided. The event ends by 8:15 p.m.

Use Hagley's Buck Road East entrance off Route 100 in Wilmington, Delaware. RSVPs encouraged, walk-ins welcome. Please RSVP to Carol Lockman, 302-658-2400 ext. 243 or email

Upcoming Author Talks

2019 - 2020 Series

  • October 10, 2019: Susan Murray. Bright Signals: A History of Color Television

    Susan Murray will offer the featured author talk at Hagley this fall on her new book Bright Signals: A History of Color Television. Drawing creatively on the David Sarnoff and RCA materials now held by Hagley’s library, Murray will trace color television’s origins as an exotic novelty in the 1920s and 1930s and explain how it became the standard for television programing in the 1960s and 1970s. In a complex story full of vexing technological obstacles, false starts, and indifferent consumers, Murray will describe how major media companies developed effective color programming, affordable color televisions for home use, and generated consumer interest in seeing television programs in color. Color television was an incredibly complex technology of visual culture that ultimately disrupted and reframed the very idea of television for American audiences. Published in 2018, Bright Signals has received the 2019 Katherine Singer Kovacs Book Award of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the 2019 Michael Nelson Book Prize from the International Association for Media and History. Bright Signals is richly illustrated with many images taken from Hagley’s collections.

  • February 27, 2020: Bess Williamson. Accessible America: A History of Disability & Design

    Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design traces the history of design responses to disability rights from 1945 to recent times. This project shows how the concept of “access” emerged as a value in design in this period. Chapters highlight the ways that prosthetics research led to expanded accessibility in the American home; how medical experts pushed for access while also putting much of the pressure on individual patients to navigate their home and work lives; and how civil rights language reshaped arguments around technology and infrastructure.

Past Author Talks

2017 - 2018 Series -- View Series PDF

2016 - 2017 Series -- View Series PDF

2015 - 2016 Series -- View Series PDF

2014 - 2015 Series -- View Series PDF

2013 - 2014 Series -- View Series PDF