Collecting Delaware Books
University of Delaware history professors over the years have followed a pattern: they are popular with their students, they write and edit insightful and readable books about Delaware, and their books become collectable.
Dr. Carol E. Hoffecker continues in this tradition like H. Clay Reed and John A. Munroe before her.
Hoffecker, who lives in Hockessin, received a B.A. degree with honors from the University of Delaware, the M.A. from Radcliffe College, and her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Though she taught at Sweet Briar College and Northwestern University, her academic career has centered in Delaware since 1968, briefly at Hagley and then at the University of Delaware for 30 years. She was awarded the Richards Professor of History chair in 1982. Hoffecker chaired the university's Department of History from 1983 to 1988, and was Associate Provost for Graduate Studies for seven years. She retired to emerita status in 2003 but is still active active in educational, professional, and civic capacities.
Wilmington: A Pictorial History is perhaps Hoffecker's most sought-after book. It is a wonderful collection of early Wilmington pictures with supporting text. The hardbound edition regularly sells at $60 to $90 in fine condition. The softbound edition can fetch half as much.
Her Corporate Capital: Wilmington in the Twentieth Century should be required reading for every candidate for public office. It shows how the city and New Castle County got to be what they are today, both good and bad, as a result of public policy decisions. The light shed on the powerful role of state and national highway agencies is especially revealing.
Hoffecker has written many articles for publications like Winterthur Portfolio, Delaware History, Delaware Lawyer, and Quaker History. However, it is her books and pamphlets that are most collected. A checklist of these follows.