Heritage Commission

A Celebration of Delaware History

James T. McKinstry Award

In the early 1970s the nation prepared for its bicentennial with the formation of the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission. James T. McKinstry of Wilmington was one of a small group chosen to develop Delaware’s contribution to the national celebration. From his tireless efforts the Delaware Heritage Commission evolved. He served as its second Chairman from 1977 to 1985. In recognition of his extraordinary efforts and character, the Commission has established these awards for historical research in his honor.

While there are no fixed amounts, recent McKinstry Awards have ranged from $250 to $3,000. They are intended to aid regional travel, obtaining materials, photocopy and other fees at libraries and archives, and preparation of materials for publication. Generally excluded from funding are meal and lodging expense and local car mileage.

While there is little restriction on subject matter, there is an expectation that the work will lead to publication and thereby benefit other Delawareans.

There are no restrictions on who may apply for a McKinstry Award. Applicants provide a brief description (preferably a single typewritten page) of the intended effort and a budget. Applicants may be asked for additional information.

Award decisions are based upon several factors in addition to the availability of funds. These can include prospects of achieving goals, recent awards for similar subjects and the aptness of expenditures.

Contact us with any questions. Our contact information is listed here.

Some recent McKinstry awards included:

  • Delaware African American Recruits at Camp William Penn.
  • Documentation of early shipbuilding sites in Milford.
  • Records of wood ship building in Bethel.
  • Life of Mary Ann Shadd Cary.
  • GATH-papers of George Alfred Townsend.
  • Research paper on “The Levels” in Appoquinimink Hundred, NC County.
  • Wilmington Delaware: The process of suburbanization: 1886-1971.
  • The domestic world of workers at the duPont Powder Mills. 1802-1902.

James T. Mckinstry Award Application

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