First ever partnership with similar institutions in the state of Delaware

It’s been a big week for the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington.

On Tuesday, the museum’s administration announced its new partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, a first-ever in the state under the Smithsonian’s affiliates program.

The program allows the Smithsonian to share its resources with other affiliated museums.

Those resources include new educational programs as well as access to the national museum’s millions of pieces of American history.

The Institution also gets to tap the infinite resources provided within their network of associate museums, according to Affiliation’s program outreach manager Jennifer Brundage.

“It’s such an amazing pool of talent and expertise,” she said. “We learn as much as we share, and that two-way street is very important to us.”

Hagley’s extensive library and collection featuring information on the early years of business, industry and technology in America, she added, is a phenomenal addition to that pool.

“The grounds are extraordinary, but even more so, the story they’re telling is so important for us to all understand. And they’re really making it relevant to children today,” Brundage said.

Smithsonian Affiliations Director Harold Closter emphasized the benefits of the “two-way street” shared between the Institution and their affiliates.

“Hagley has one of the finest research libraries in the country, especially with regards to the history of business and American industry, and one of the finest grounds and facilities to explain the birth of American industry,” Closter said.

Hagley Executive Director David Cole said that most importantly, he expects the Smithsonian partnership to be a fruitful one, with both organizations benefitting from the program.

“We’re thrilled, obviously, with the opportunity to worth with them,” he said.

The museum also unveiled its historic water turbine after a three-year restoration project, designed to actually provide energy for appliances at the museum and library.

Cole said the turbine is an exciting addition to the property as well as a tremendous engineering feat that was often times designed on the fly as the project progressed.

“It is spinning now as it did in days of yore, over 100 years ago,” he said. “It was a collaborative effort and really a wonderful example of innovation and work.”

That theme of innovation, he added, is a major one for the museum and library as it moves forward with its goals.

“We think this turbine really exemplifies that,” he said.

The turbine will be opened to the public to view as of Friday, June 6.