Collections Aid

Building on the University of Delaware Museum Studies Program’s long-standing commitment to community service, Collections Aid (or C-AID) is an annual intensive two-week project undertaken by the Program’s graduate students in collaboration with a community organization seeking assistance with their collections. Organizations may be small museums, or other community groups or institutions that have collections. Past partners include churches, schools, and arts organizations, as well as museums and historical societies. C-AID projects typically involve inventorying, cataloging, digitizing, rehousing, and other collections management activities.

Originally known as the “ Collections SWAT Team,” Collections Aid has served more than a dozen partners since its inception in 2010. Thanks to a generous gift from the art storage company UOVO and funding from the History Department and the Jesse Ball DuPont Fund, distributed by the University of Delaware’s Partnership for Arts and Culture, partners have received equipment and training relevant to the project, so they can maintain the work after the two-week session ends. The C-AID team also submits a full report documenting the project, and making recommendations for next steps. A full list of past projects is below, and if you have an idea of how Collections Aid can help your organization in the Delaware River Valley, please fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!

Collage of three images. The first is a a student reading a file. The second is two people reviewing a document. The third is a person cleaning a glass case.

See a timeline of our past projects below.

SWAT 2010Delewariana Collection at the Corbitt-Calloway Library in Odessa, DE
SWAT 2011Laurel Historical Society, Laurel, DE
SWAT 2012Auburn Heights Preserve State Park, Hockessin, DE
SWAT 2013Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, Vineland, NJ
SWAT 2014Upper Bay Museum in North East, MD
SWAT 2015Milton Historical Society, Milton, DE
SWAT 2016Milford Historical Society, Milford, DE
SWAT 2017Historical Society of Cecil County, Elkton, MD
SWAT 2018Rockwood Mansion and Museum, Wilmington, DE
SWAT 2019Delaware Historical Society Archives, Wilmington, DE
SWAT 2020Greenbank Mills and Phillips Farm, Wilmington, DE
C-AID 2021State of Delaware, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover, DE (virtual)
C-AID 2022The Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Wilmington, DE
Christina Cultural Arts Center, Wilmington, DE
St. John AM Church, Newark DE

For more information about past projects and Collections Aid, check out this link!

C-AID 2022 team smiling behind their masks.
The 2022 C-AID team with staff of the Christina Cultural Arts Center in Wilmington, DE. The team built a digital archive of the Center’s 70-year performance history.