Collections FAQ

What can I find in the library?

Our materials relate to the history of commerce, marketing, and innovation in American culture, documented by publications like trade catalogs, annual reports, company magazines, and rare books; manuscripts and archives; born-digital records; photographs; moving pictures; oral histories; and sound recordings. The materials we collect here are rare or, in many cases, unique.

Who uses the library?

Everyone from historians and authors to producers and filmmakers, educators to genealogists and citizen historians working on research projects or pursuing their passion for history. Researchers from all over the world are constantly finding creative and innovative ways to utilize Hagley collections. Our public programs showcase selected research projects that use our collections.

How do I use the library?

The library is located in Wilmington, Delaware, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and every second Saturday of the month. Visiting us in Delaware is the best way to use our collections but we do have resources accessible online through the Hagley Digital Archives at digital.hagley.org and offer services for remote researchers

Can I give my collection to the library?

Hagley actively collects personal and organizational records and materials documenting the history of American business, technology, and industrial design. We also preserve corporate and organizational archives as deposits for companies and member organizations seeking to preserve their histories and make them available for research.

Hagley collects manuscripts, publications, audiovisual, and digital materials for research, as well as artifacts that support the interpretation of the site or provide context for the documentary collections.

As an interested party in donations, Hagley is unable to provide an appraisal of a collection's financial value. We are glad to provide information about contacting professionals able to appraise the financial value of prospective donations to Hagley. As a non-profit institution, donors can claim a tax deduction on gifts to its collections. While the donor bears the cost of obtaining an outside appraisal, the cost of the appraisal is also tax-deductible. Hagley recommends that donors check with an attorney or financial advisor about any and all tax implications. For more information on contributions to the collections, please contact Erik Rau, Director of Library Services at (302) 658-2400, ext. 344 or erau@hagley.org.