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Kim Rogers Burdick papers related to Delaware folklife


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Kim Rogers Burdick is an author, historian, project director, folklorist, teacher, curator and non-profit leader, who served as House-Senate Liaison in the Delaware Legislature from 1987-1998. As House-Senate Liaison, Mrs. Burdick designed Delaware's Coastal Heritage Greenway proposal (see F7), coordinated the 1991 Managed Growth Conference for the General Assembly, and initiated the establishment of Sussex County's Business People for the Bays citizens' action group.

Prior to this position, she served for two years as Legislative Fellow to the House Natural Resources and Hazardous Waste Committees. During this time she studied Delaware lobbyists at work, which culminated in her M.P.A. thesis, "A Folklorist Looks at Lobbyists" (see F6).

Mrs. Burdick served as the coordinator of the Delaware Folklife Project from 1981–1989. During that time she developed a statewide volunteer group whose goal was to document, promote, and preserve Delaware's traditional culture. Her grant application for a Delaware Cultural Conservation Program in 1991 exhibits her continued efforts to establish a Delaware Folklife Program. She has further advocated the creation of Delaware's folklife program by lecturing extensively on Delaware's cultural history, assisting local historical societies, as well as by educating Delaware teachers. Because of her efforts, the State of Delaware has included funding for a folklorist in the state budget.

Mrs. Burdick received an M.P.A. in Agency Management from the College of Urban Affairs at the University of Delaware, an M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Programs, a B.A. from State University of New York at Cortland, and a certificate in French from l'Universite de Neuchatel, Switzerland.

Burdick, Kim Rogers. "Bio-Sketch." [1992]. See F9.

The Kim Rogers Burdick papers related to Delaware folklife consist of 13 items, spanning the dates 1982-1991. The material includes six essays on aspects of Delaware folklife, a grant application for a Delaware Cultural Conservation Program, an editorial on Delaware's Coastal Heritage Greenway, and her biographical sketch.

The essays document several Delaware folklife projects in which Mrs. Burdick participated. Projects included a study of Port Penn fishermen; an interview with Delaware whittler, Jehu Camper; research and interviews on Delaware ghost stories; a study of Century Farms in Delaware for the Delaware Department of Agriculture; and a study of the folkways of professional lobbyists in Delaware. The study of Delaware lobbyists was completed during her two year term as Legislative Fellow in the Delaware Legislature and was the topic of her M.P.A. thesis written for the University of Delaware's College of Urban Affairs.

These papers not only document the force that Kim Burdick has been and is in establishing a Delaware folk-life program but also examine interesting pieces of Delaware's folk-life, specifically Delaware farming, ghost stories, Port Penn fishermen, and lobbyists.

Materials are arranged chronologically by date the item was written.

  1. Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Gift of Kim Rogers Burdick, September 1992

Processed by Anita Wellner, April 1993. Encoded by Natalie Baur, February 2010. Additional encoding by John Caldwell, December 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 December 19
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Circle Around the Moon: Port Penn Fishermen Past and Present, 1982.
Box 1 Folder 1
Scope and Contents

Essay detailing through research and interviews the history and cultural traditions of commercial fishing at Port Penn.

Just Whittlin': The Three-Dimensional World of Jehu Camper, 1983.
Box 1 Folder 2
Scope and Contents

Essay based on research and interview with Jehu Camper, a Delaware whittler. In the 1950s Jehu Camper was a Delaware State Representative and Senator. His whittling depicts scenes of Delaware rural life and consequently provide information about Delaware's social history.

The Keeper of the Chair and Other Delaware Ghosts, 1985.
Box 1 Folder 3
Scope and Contents

Essay documenting ghost stories told in Delaware. These stories were collected through interviews and research and detail some of Delaware's death-lore. A number of the stories included in this study were also included in Burdick's book Once of a Niqht: ghost stories told in Delaware (Wilmington: Kim Burdick, 1986--See Spec DEL PR 648.G48 053x 1986).

Delaware's Blue and Gray Ghosts, 1985.
Box 1 Folder 4
Scope and Contents

Essay of Burdick's lecture as President of the Delaware Folklife Project for the Mid-Atlantic Folklore Association. The lecture includes an abstract and footnotes. The lecture focuses on Civil War ghost stories told in Delaware, especially stories sympathetic to blacks and Confederate soldiers. Also includes historical information about slavery in Delaware and Fort Delaware. Some of this information is incorporated into "Delaware Ghosts," the one-act play produced by the Delaware Theatre Company.

Century Farms, 1989.
Box 1 Folder 5
Scope and Contents

Portions of a publication on Century Farms in Delaware. Burdick produced this report for the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Includes interviews with the three families included in the Century Farms pilot project. The Century Farm Program salutes individual families who have maintained active farming operation on their land for one hundred or more years.

A Folklorist Looks at Lobbyists, 1989.
Box 1 Folder 6
Scope and Contents

Burdick's M.P.A. thesis completed as a Legislative Fellow in the Delaware Legislature. The study details the folkways of professional lobbyists in Delaware. Includes a brief history of lobbying, as well as information specific to Delaware lobbyists.

A Greenways Dream, 1991 March 7.
Box 1 Folder 7
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of Burdick's editorial for the Wilmington News Journal advocating the creation of corridors of "greenways" from Fox Point Park in Brandywine Hundred to Fenwick Island on the Maryland border. Also includes a News Journal editorial supporting her concept and a map, "Coastal Heritage Greenway."

Grant Application--Delaware Cultural Conservation Program, 1991 April 15.
Box 1 Folder 8
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of a typescript of the grant written by Burdick requesting the establishment of a position, State Cultural Conservation Program Manager and a statewide cultural conservation/folklife program for Delaware.

Bio-sketch for Kim Rogers Burdick, 1992.
Box 1 Folder 9
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of a bio-sketch plus a business card for Mrs. Burdick.

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