Upon entering the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center, a visitor may walk towards the stacks of genealogy, yearbooks and other historical tomes. Yet, before they even get that far, there’s a collection of books to the left that offer a wealth of knowledge.
Compiled especially for Black History Month, the row includes books to entice adult and child alike, providing them with a perspective to connect to the deep heritage of African Americans both in the United States and in Delaware County.
Included in the range is Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Alan Paton’s “Cry, the Beloved Country” and Alex Haley’s “Roots,” which was the basis of a TV miniseries both in 1977 and 2016.
There’s also “The Audacity of Hope” by Barack Obama by the former president when he was still a U.S. senator, and “Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson, the National Book Award Finalist that outlines the journey of 13-year-old Isabel after her owner dies during the era of the Revolutionary War .
A biography of Harriet Tubman by Earl Conrad expands on the background of the great abolitionist and Civil War spy. Her ties to Delaware County are well-known, having worked with Thomas Garrett, the Quaker born and raised in Drexel Hill.
Garrett eventually moved to Delaware, where he openly operated a station of the Underground Railroad in his home. Here, Tubman, a family friend, passed several times on her missions as he provided money, lodging and meals on her stays.
These and other books can be viewed at the Delaware County Historical Society Museum, Library & Research Center. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum’s telephone number is 610-872-0502. Parking is free on the society lot behind the building or across the street in the municipal lot.
Membership in the Delaware County Historical Society ranges from $10 for students, $27 for individuals to $250 at the patron level. It includes free admission to the society’s Chester museum and library at 408 Avenue of the States, the society newsletter and preferred reservations and discounts for lectures and events. To join, please visit www.padelcohistory.org or call 610-359-0832.
A variety of books on the experiences and history of African Americans are available for DCHS members to peruse at the Chester museum.