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Digest of Town Council Minutes Newark, Delaware


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

Newark, uniquely situated two miles from the Mason-Dixon Line and very close to the Maryland and Pennsylvania state lines, arose from the crossroads of two Lenni Lenape Indian trails which spanned the peninsula between the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware River. The intersection gradually matured into a village, with brickyards, mills, and tanneries developing in the vicinity. Early settlers were from Great Britain -- mainly English, Welsh, and Scottish-Irish.

Newark was first chartered on April 13, 1758 by George II, then King of England, when he granted permission for the growing village to hold a weekly market and a semi-annual fair. In 1965, the present Charter was granted to Newark by the State of Delaware, strengthening the Council-Manager form of government and significantly increasingly the size of the city. Though still considered a small town in 2008 with a permanent population under 30,000, Newark's history of growth and change since 1758 is a reflection of significant developments in the history of many American cities over the last 250 years.

Melvin, L. Rebecca Johnson, and Jamie L. Margalotti. "University of Delaware Library: LITTLE KNOWN HISTORIES OF NEWARK, DELAWARE, 1758-2008: an exhibition." University of Delaware Library. (accessed March 19, 2010). " History of Newark." Newark, DE - Official Website. (accessed March 19, 2010).

This collection consists of one volume containing abstracts of minutes of town council meetings held in Newark, Delaware, between 1866 and 1900 (bulk dates 1888-1900). This digest was prepared in 1959-1960 by William Ditto Lewis, who served as University Librarian at Delaware from 1930-1958.

Lewis created his abstracts from three manuscript volumes, which are now located in the Newark City Secretary's Office. There is an index to the digest, found on pages 91-101, which provides a useful overview of the collection. At the front of the volume, there is also a list of Newark Town Commissioners for the years 1866-1892.

The digest contains concise notes summarizing the council meetings, essentially condensing the contents of each page of the three original volumes into a few lines. Though Lewis' notes are brief, they offer a thorough picture of the issues facing the local government in Newark in the late nineteenth century. Common subjects include elections, taxes, and town services such as the police and fire departments. There are references to town ordinances on noise, snow removal, firearms, animal control, traffic, and many other matters. The minutes also reveal a great deal about how the town of Newark contended with modernization efforts and infrastructure development. There are numerous notes on light and power; telephone and telegraph services; water works; railroads; street lighting; and improvements to the town's roads and sidewalks.

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

A digitized copy of the volume is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.

Lewis created the abstracts that make up this collection from three manuscript volumes, which are now located in the Newark City Secretary's Office. The City Secretary's Office is located at 220 Elkton Road, Newark, Delaware; (302) 366-7070.

Compiled by William Ditto Lewis, 1958-1960.

Processed by Carrie L. Foley, May 2003. Encoded by Thomas Pulhamus, March 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 11
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

Digest of Town Council Minutes Newark, Delaware.
Box 1
Materials Viewable Online
  1. PDF of volume

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