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Become a DBHS Member Today

Using our secure payment system, for as little as $60 a year, you can enjoy the many benefits of being a Delray Beach Historical Society member! JOIN NOW »
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Explore the ESW Archive Learning Center

The Ethel Sterling Williams History Learning Center is open to visitors for history research and to view exhibits. EXPLORE NOW »
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Past and Present

When it was founded in 1964, DBHS set out to collect and preserve the stories, artifacts, and memorabilia from the area’s founding families to provide an authentic record of how we got started and where we are going. READ MORE »

Preserving the Past for the Future

Our New Oral History Project brought to you by The Alexander and Linda Simon Foundation

The Simon brothers

The Delray Beach Historical Society’s ORAL HISTORY PROJECT is underway, thanks to a generous donation of $25,000 by the Simon Family. This donation was made in honor of our board member Roy Simon’s mother and father.

Since the advent of modern recording technologies, oral history has become one of the most treasured assets in archives everywhere. Since 1964, the Delray Beach Historical Society has collected approximately 120 recorded histories in various formats including VHS tape, cassette and CD —both video and audio, all preserved in the archive.

This vital work to capture the lived experiences of Delray’s residents will be able to continue because of this donation from the Simon family. We will need more funds to continue well into the future, so please let us know if this is an area of interest to you.

This fall, we completed three new oral histories and are working on getting our older material brought up to current digital preservation standards.

Why collect oral histories?
At the Delray Beach Historical Society, we believe deeply in documenting history through diverse voices. Eyewitness accounts often reveal valuable nuances that are lost in the written record. These accounts help us understand the human experience from the most intimate perspective possible, and we believe the voices we record today will inspire future historians of Florida history.

Oral history is especially useful in documenting the experiences of marginalized populations. Interviews often help illuminate details that are typically excluded from traditional research. This is particularly relevant to the Delray Beach area where early inhabitants came from diverse ethnic and financial backgrounds.

Capturing History Digitally
4th Avenue Photography has been an in-kind photography sponsor and supporter of the DBHS since 2011. You’ve probably seen Matt and Lori capturing our events and taking pictures at Fall Fest! We’re now working together on the ongoing ORAL HISTORY PROJECT. Matt Sturgess has a keen eye and passion for storytelling and has added tremendous value to the project. He has always supported the preservation of our local history and this is a way for him to contribute to the future generations of Delray Beach.

Matthew Sturgess of 4th Avenue Photography and archivist Kate Teves conducting an oral history interview.